The big news this week on the Justin Upton front is that the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a three-year, $26 million deal with Cody Ross (details at ESPN). The addition of Ross could spur the Diamondbacks into moving the 25-year-old outfielder.
One of the teams to be mentioned as a potential suitor is the Texas Rangers. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com said that the Diamondbacks may be ready to deal Upton to the Rangers if they are able to put together a prospect package to their liking. Durrett believes that the Rangers have a few prospects, most notably Mike Olt, who could be attractive to the Diamondbacks.
Olt is a power-hitting corner infielder who hit 28 home runs for Double-A Frisco in 2012. He was promoted to the Rangers late in the 2012 season, and he batted .152 in limited action.
There is almost no chance that the Rangers would part with highly touted shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar, as they have already cleared a spot for him with the departure of Michael Young this offseason.
Also, the Diamondbacks don’t seem to be in need of a young shortstop, as they acquired Didi Gregorius a few weeks back in the three-team megadeal involving the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds.
Another team to keep an eye on in the Upton derby is the New York Mets. Kevin Kernan of the New York Post believes that the Mets could be looking toward Upton in efforts to strengthen their outfield.
The Mets could obviously use Upton. He would be a huge upgrade over their current stable of outfielders that include Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and Collin Cowgill. The real question is whether or not Mets GM Sandy Alderson has the prospects to initiate and complete a trade for Upton.
It’s highly unlikely Alderson will be willing to part with the likes of Zack Wheeler or the newly acquired Travis d’Arnaud. It would most likely take one or both of these prospects to have any realistic shot of offering up a trade for Upton.