MLB Rumors: Pittsburgh Pirates Taking Aim at Justin Upton?

By Craig Williams

You don’t typically see players the caliber of Justin Upton gracing the flurry of MLB rumors that surface each summer.  That appears to be the case here though because the Arizona Diamondbacks are willing to listen to trade offers on their young – albeit inconsistent – stud.  This is not the first time Justin Upton has been linked to trade talk either.  There was noise prior to the 2011 season suggesting that the Diamondbacks could look to move Upton.  Obviously that did not happen, but it is a bit interesting – to say the least – that these talks have surfaced again.

Following a 2011 season in which he finished fourth in the MVP voting, Upton has disappointed in 2012.  An early-season thumb injury could be one of the culprits contributing to a .267 batting average and sub-.400 slugging percentage on the year.  Either way, it appears as though the Diamondbacks could be growing a bit frustrated with Upton’s lack of consistency and the fact that he has yet to fully establish himself as one of the game’s superstars.

Surprisingly, one of the early teams linked to Upton is the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Pirates have typically been sellers at this time of year, but two good halves of baseball in the past three have them thinking that they have turned the corner.  Pairing Upton with MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen would be quite a splash for a franchise that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992.  Any deal would likely start with RHP Gerrit Cole or RHP Jameson Taillon.

MLB rumors such as this one surface every year, but more often than not, nothing of significance goes down.  However, the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks have once again expressed a willingness to listen to trade offers on Justin Upton makes this development tough to ignore.

Follow me on Twitter @craigmwilliams for more discussion and speculation regarding the latest and most popular MLB rumors.

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