With a surplus of outfielders, many pundits have claimed that the Arizona Diamondbacks could be involved in a trade before the 2012-13 season begins. While all the speculation recently has focused on Jason Kubel, it may be two-time All-Star Justin Upton who is dealt according to multiple media reports today.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports today that the Padres, Rangers and Braves seem to be the strongest suitors for the 25-year-old right fielder. San Diego’s Chase Headley was mentioned as a possible player that could be headed in the D’backs direction in a deal involving Upton. Headley finished 5th in the National League MVP voting last season when he hit .286 with 31 HR’s and a league leading 115 RBI’s.
Texas is seeking to replace Josh Hamilton and other offensive production and are said to be trying to build a deal behind third base prospect Mike Olt, while Arizona would prefer the discussion would start with shortstop Elvis Andrus or prospect Jurickson Profar.
Atlanta recently signed Upton’s brother B.J, which could be a draw for the five-tool outfielder. Atlanta has pitching depth in their system that could be attractive to Arizona like RHP Julio Teheran, RHP Lucas Sims, LHP Sean Gilmartin and RHP J.R. Graham.
Earlier this week, Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted out comments that the Diamondbacks have changed what they are asking for in the case of the mercurial outfielder and that the Seattle Mariners are rumored as a possible destination. Upton would have to agree to a trade with Seattle for it to be concluded. CBSSports.com Jon Heyman says the Braves, Yankees, Rays, Mets, Phillies and Rangers all still have an interest in acquiring the former MVP candidate.
These rumors have been constant about Upton this off-season, but have died down in recent weeks after he was not moved during the MLB Winter Meetings. Speculation had shifted to Kubel being the odd man out in the D’backs outfield until Olney’s tweet today got the rumor factory abuzz with Upton talk. According to some pundits, like Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the D’backs are not expected to get much back for Kubel and therefore have returned back to Upton as they listen to suitors.
According to Olney, some officials throughout the league are now convinced that Upton will be the player that is moved to alleviate the crowded outfield situation in Arizona.
Stay tuned to VenomStrikes.com throughout the off-season for full coverage of all the trade rumors involving the Arizona Diamondbacks.