MLB Rumors: The 6 Best Destinations for Justin Upton
One-Up with J-Up
The Justin Upton MLB rumors will not die! It appeared the negativity from last season passed between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Upton, but it was made public that GM Kevin Towers is willing to listen to offers for his talented outfielder.
Obviously, every team in baseball could use a player like Justin Upton. A contending team would love to have Upton on their team, in hopes that he would put them over the hump for World Series title. In contrast, rebuilding teams would love to have Upton just as much as the contending teams, seeing as he would give that team a cornerstone for years to come.
Every MLB team cannot get Upton, however, nor do they have the farm systems to acquire the superstar. This is why I tried to narrow the list from 29 teams to only six. These six teams have the greatest need for Upton and they also have a good enough farm system to entice Arizona.
Although these six teams would definitely love to have Upton, the question these GMs have to answer is Upton worth it? I mean, this is a guy who apparently had attitude problems and “quit” on his team last year. And aside from teams losing their best prospects, there is also a long-term financial commitment to Upton. So, do you think he’s worth it?
If you do think Upton is worth it, here are the six teams most suitable for his services. Feel free to disagree considering this is my own speculation.
New York Yankees
Things are eerily quiet in the Bronx right now. The New York Yankees do need an outfielder, assuming that Nick Swisher, Ichiro Suzuki, and Raul Ibanez will not return. Considering Upton is still very young, this would be a move to win now and prepare for the future. The Yankees' window is still open as of now, but their core guys aren't getting any younger.
Here's a dark horse for you: the Seattle Mariners. Seattle is kind of stuck in the middle right now, meaning they aren't good enough to win and they aren't bad enough for it to matter. That's the worst spot a baseball team can be in, so why not try and change that? Seattle definitely has a need for a young power hitter; plus, they have a good enough farm system to interested the Diamondbacks. The question is: would Mariners fans want to go for it?
Toronto Blue Jays
I am willing to link every big ticket free agent/trade chip to the Toronto Blue Jays. I really am optimistic about the Jays next season for the same reasons I was optimistic about Washington last season. The talent is definitely good enough to win in Toronto, and their GM Alex Anthopoulos isn't shy about pulling the trigger on a deal. Therefore, Upton to Toronto makes a lot of sense in my eyes. If they did acquire Upton, their 3-4-5 would be one of the best in baseball.
The Atlanta Braves will not look the same without Chipper Jones moving forward. They also will sorely miss the defensive wizardry and baserunning of Michael Bourn. Ergo, I really like the idea of the Braves going after Upton. As always, Atlanta has a pretty stacked farm system, so a deal could happen. The only issue with a potential deal is the outfield defensive alignment. Could Heyward play CF? Could Upton? Prado? It's dicey, but the defensive hit might be worth it.
Until the Texas Rangers say they definitely aren't going after Justin Upton, I'm just going to assume they are going after Justin Upton. Once Hamilton signs with another team, Texas might feel the need to replace him in a big way. Texas has the prospects to acquire Upton, but are they willing to give them up? That's the question that keeps hindering this proposition.
If the rumors are true about the Washington Nationals' pursuit of Hamilton and Greinke, then Upton has to be on Mike Rizzo's radar. Washington's system is still absolutely stacked with talent, making them a great trade partner for any team. No matter what Washington decides to do this winter, they will be the best team on Opening Day 2013. Book it.