For whatever reason, the Arizona Diamondbacks seem hell-bent on trading Justin Upton. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports the Baltimore Orioles have shown “strong interest” in acquiring the power hitting outfielder.
Upton underperformed in Arizona last year, hitting .280/.355/.430 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI, but belted 31 bombs for the D’Backs in 2011. He was once thought of a can’t miss middle of the order bat, but now he seems to be the maybe with a change of scenery type player.
I’ll admit that reading Rosenthal’s tweet did send an excited chill down my spine last night. But Arizona isn’t moving Upton unless their blown away with a package that includes young pitching and the Orioles just aren’t willing to give that up.
Besides that, Upton’s contract is a bit steep for a guy who’s a .278/.357/.475 career hitter who averages just 18 homers a season. He’s due to make $9.75 million this year and is under team control through 2015 making $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
The Birds earlier interest in Jason Kubel is probably the more realistic of the two rumors. I know everyone in Baltimore wants to see a big move made this offseason and feels like a middle of the order bat is important. I still feel that solidifying the starting rotation is the Orioles most pressing need this winter and think they should start focusing their efforts on brining back Joe Saunders.