Perhaps the biggest name that is still floating around in trade rumors at this point in the winter is that of Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. After surprisingly signing Cody Ross, the Diamondbacks now have five starting-caliber outfielders on their roster. Someone is eventually going to go.
If it is Upton that Kevin Towers chooses to deal, then the Chicago Cubs would almost certainly have interest. From a roster standpoint, he’d obviously make a great deal of sense for this ballclub.
Upton is a right fielder. The Cubs need a right fielder. He’s an impact bat. The Cubs could use one of those too. His contract, which has three years remaining in it, is also pretty favorable when you consider his upside.
The question of whether or not the current Cubs’ roster would benefit from the addition of Upton is an entirely obvious one to answer. He’s a proven stud, and still very young, along with the fact that he could probably benefit from a change of scenery, since these rumors have been rampant for well over a year now.
A quick look at the fact that it’s Justin Upton makes it easy to say “go get him”. But the price tag that would come with such a trade could cause the Cubs, as has already caused other organizations, to shy away.
We’re probably past the point where Starlin Castro would have to be involved. But Javier Baez, probably the best bat in the Cubs’ system, would almost certainly have to be involved. Not to mention other top prospects, potentially three or four of them. Matt Garza‘s name has been thrown in there as well, but that’s doubtful.
No matter what team acquires Upton, assuming he is traded, the price tag is going to be huge. He’s going to cost a ton for anyone to acquire, in terms of prospects. The Cubs would be wise to have interest, as they should absolutely check in on a star like Justin Upton.
But one would have to wonder if the type of package that it would take to acquire him would be better served going towards a guy like David Price, for a team desperately in need of impact pitching throughout the organization.