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After a terrible 2012 season, the Red Sox have been one of the busiest teams in the offseason. Despite a roster that’s nearly full, there were rumors that the Red Sox hadinterest in the former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, before he was traded to the Braves this week. Did the Red Sox make the right move of not trading for Justin Upton?
At 25 years old, Upton still has a lot left in the tank and has produced decent numbers in the past six seasons. He has also generally avoided being on the DL, playing in over 138 game each year since 2009. A career .278 hitter, Upton also has hit above 15 home runs or more each season since 2008 and has about 20 stolen bases per year since the 2009 season. Upton was the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he will be joining his brother B.J Upton now in Atlanta.
Before striking a deal with the Braves, the Diamondbacks were on and off when having trade discussions surrounding Upton. The D’Backs were close to sending Upton to the Seattle Mariners, but Upton exercised his limited no-trade clause to cancel the deal with the Mariners. Arizona’s asking price was high, forcing teams like the Rangers and Cubs backed off. To start dealsThe D’Backs asked for Jurickson Profar or Elvis Andrus from the Rangers and from the Cubs asked for Starlin Castro. Soon after hearing the asking price, both teams dropped out.
In the end, the D’Backs traded Upton and Chris Johnson to the Braves for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and three other prospects. The D’Backs were looking to trade him for weeks and needed to trade him before spring training to avoid any distractions heading into the season, but for now, we will see if they got fair value in return.
The Red Sox were better off not trading for Upton and going into spring training with the current roster. Since Arizona wanted a lot in return, they likely would have required someone like Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr or Matt Barnes in the deal. These prospects are critical for the future and the Sox can’t risk dealing one of them or possibly two prospects just for one decent bat.