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Rumors tend to run wild during the Baseball’s GM meetings, but one of the more hot topics that won’t seem to go away in 2010 is Justin Upton, the 23-year-old, five-tool Diamondbacks outfielder. New Arizona GM Kevin Towers has always been a creative general manager, and he recently said any player on his roster, including Upton, is available.
The Red Sox have been surprisingly active in the pursuit of Upton, perhaps because they want to block the Yankees from acquiring Upton and free agent SP Cliff Lee in the same offseason. Regardless, Upton to the Red Sox makes sense. J.D. Drew and Mike Cameron will be gone after next season, and it remains to be seen if Ryan Kalish and/or Josh Reddick are completely major-league ready. Upton fills a big hole in the future of the outfield.
According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the Diamondbacks will likely request Daniel Bard and Jacoby Ellsbury in a package to get Upton, who is owed just $49.5 million over the next five years. Other reports have said that the Red Sox would need to trade Bard, Ellsbury, and Clay Buchholz, which I would have to guess is completely out of the question. The team may not even trade Buchholz straight up for Upton in that deal.
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam proposed his own deal that could meet Arizona’s demands and may be worth it for the Red Sox:
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In the McAdam trade, the D-Backs pick up a young outfielder to fill Upton’s shoes, a closer in Bard, and a young left-handed, major league-ready starter. I’d say that’s a positive move for Arizona.
According to other reports, the Diamondbacks and Red Sox have reportedly talked about bigger trades involving a third team, which could help the Red Sox pickup bullpen depth for a player like Marco Scutaro should they lose Bard in a deal for Upton. The Blue Jays, Rockies, Marlins, Yankees, and Mariners are all said to be in the hunt for Upton.
The outfielder hit .273 with 17 HRs and 69 RBI last season. In 2009, Upton broke out with a .300 average, 26 HR and 88 RBI.