What on earth is Towers up to? He keeps dangling Upton but never seems to make clear how serious he is about making a trade or what he’s really looking for in return. Then he’s surprised that Upton doesn’t seem as enthusiastic and productive as he used to be. This is beginning to seem like utter ineptitude.
Yeah, Andrus will in all likelihood never have a season comparable to Upton’s 2011. He is a below average hitter and an excellent defensive shortstop. At his peak he might be able to hit like Upton did this past year, albeit with fewer walks and less power.
When Upton’s dealing with a nagging injury he’s an above average hitter and a good OF. When Justin Upton’s healthy he’s an MVP candidate. If Texas can get Upton for Andrus straight up they’ll take it without blinking.
Also, Chris Young is the only reason Upton hasn’t been playing Center for the past 4 years, so it’s a little disingenuous to call him strictly a corner OF. Unless he’s bulked up significantly in the past few years, which would be surprising considering that his SB totals and baserunning have held steady, Keith Law had him as an above-average CF.
Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 12:42 pm
Yeah, because we all know what a tough offensive environment Texas is…
And that .332 road wOBA would be Andrus’ career high by a significant amount.
Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 12:45 pm
Trading Upton will be tricky. At his best he is an MVP caliber player. At his worst he is an average player. The DBacks will want to trade him expecting a return for an MVP-ish player. The opposing teams will want to buy low, given his struggles last year AND the persistent rumors of his having a bad shoulder.
If I am a GM Upton would have a giant “buyer beware” signing hanging around him. I could see a team trading prospects for him, but I don’t see any team giving up their all-star/gold glove caliber starting shortstop for him.
This analysis fails to mention the inflation soon to come for WAR/$.
Say by the end of year 3, Justin has produced 12WAR over those 3 years compared to 8 WAR for Andrus. In that third year, the price of 1 WAR should be greater than 5.5 mil/WAR. And it only needs to inflate to 6.75 mil/WAR, if Upton gets 4WAR that year, to match the difference in value. It could work out even better if you envision Upton’s WAR increasing going into his prime.
Comment by makeitRayn — November 8, 2012 @ 1:17 pm
It’s a roughly even swap IMO. War expectation is probably similar at this point. Upton plays a less premium position but has greater upside. Andrus has been more consistent. Team control favors Upton. Overall, I would say Upton is slightly more valuable in terms of a trade.
Aside from the blockbuster Price trade you suggested recently, what is another potential trade that could be made between Rays and Dbacks? What about Hellickson for Upton with the Dbacks covering a few mil
Maybe he’s taking advice from David Glass or Dayton Moore.
Comment by channelclemente — November 8, 2012 @ 1:41 pm
I would take Upton in a heartbeat, simply because of the upside. At his best Upton is a HOF talent. Andrus is a solid SS with a well-rounded game, but he is never going to put up a HOF-caliber season. He already appears to be putting on weight which has slowed him down on the bases and his defense is mildly overrated because of his erratic lapses in crucial situations.
Comment by Phantom Stranger — November 8, 2012 @ 1:50 pm
Andrus is a SS where league average wOBA was .300 and then only if you include “SS” Like Zobrist, while RF league average wOBA was .334 in 2011.
Elvis is a decent hitter for a SS. His wRC+ and wOBA were roughly in the middle of qualified hitters this year, but his OBP was near the top (behind Zobrist and Jeter). That said, obviously he won’t have a season like Upton’s 2011. Shortstops never do (except probably A-Rod).
If they trade straight up, the Snakes probably win. Elvis is more likely to provide better bang for the buck over the durations of their respective contracts. That’s why a straight up trade probably won’t happen.
I keep hearing that Upton is a HOF talent. Is this really true? His 2011 was around 6 WAR. Yes if he did that for 10 years in a row that’s a HOF prime, but hardly anyone has exactly 6 WAR for 10 years in a row, and if that’s his best year, and he settles in at 4-5 WAR/year for 10 years that’s not really a HOF. He’s a HOF only if his 2011 is a mere preview on his really great years to come. Now Mike Trout…..that’s a HOF talent.
Comment by Ivan Grushenko — November 8, 2012 @ 2:28 pm
I think you are drastically underestimating Upton’s ceiling here. While Andrus is a nice player, Upton had a 6.5 win season at age 24, combined with an excellent scouting and prospect pedigree. Upton has the possibility of turning into a consistent 7 win franchise cornerstone, Andrus does not.
Comment by Michael Scarn — November 8, 2012 @ 2:31 pm
The Rays have systematically eliminated all of the ‘bad fruit’ in the wagon, starting with Delmon Young a few years ago, then that other OF I can’t even recall who is out of baseball, Garza never had the best attitude, crawford was ok but a little selfish, now upton is gone and I for one am not too sad, we got all we could out of him but he’s a little lazy.
No way the Rays even think of bringing on someone for that amount of $$ without a good attitude, forget it.
In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if secretly the Rays look to move Longoria after this next season before it comes out exactly how much of a prima donna loose cannon he is too…
I completely agree that the Diamondbacks are more likely going to wind up with Mike Olt here than with Elvis Andrus. Why trade away Chris Young for Cliff Pennington if you don’t view Pennington as your starting SS? Makes more sense to trade for Olt and an OF, maybe Nelson Cruz since I doubt Texas plans on re-signing him when he becomes a free agent next winter.
Texas keeps Adrian Beltre at 3B, hands Jurickson either the everyday SS or 2B job, runs with Jurickson and Andrus at 2B and SS (not sure who plays where but I’m guessing Jurickson is your 2B), moves Ian Kinsler to LF, obviously starts Justin Upton in CF, and sticks with Nelson Cruz in RF, unless Cruz is th guy packaged with Olt, in which case I suppose you run with a Craig Gentry-David Murphy platoon.
What if AZ throws in one of their 3 SP prospects and TX throws in Olt?
Comment by RoundHeadedKid — November 9, 2012 @ 11:49 am
“Do you know what “talent” means?
I don’t think that you do…”
I think I do, but I think you don’t think I do. Do you think you do? Do you think I think you do? Do you think I think you think you do? Do you?
Comment by Ivan Grushenko — November 9, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
“That 6 WAR season was not viewed as his ceiling.”
Maybe not, but almost all the comments here supporting him point to the 6 WAR season as evidence of his HOF ability. The point is that 6 WAR seasons are excellent, but not so fantastic that just because someone has one at Age 24 that it means that they’re a HOF talent. Are Jason Heyward and Andrew McCutchen HOF talents? How about Ryan Zimmerman? Hanley Ramirez? 6 WAR seasons by young players aren’t that unusual.
Comment by Ivan Grushenko — November 9, 2012 @ 12:43 pm
The quote says that the trade would have to make Arizona would be better for next year and the future. As Dave wrote, that means they want a current frontline starter or a good starting SS/3B. The Braves don’t have the surplus position player, and Medlen is their only current high-end pitcher. I really don’t know if either team could pull the trigger on my proposal.
In a straight evaluation of what has happened IN TOTAL, it appears to be an even swap. However Upton already has seasons of 4.8 WAR at age 21 and 6.4 WAR at age 23. I don’t know how to search by age at fangraphs, but those seasons must rank within the top 1-2% of seasons for players of that age.
Also, since when is 3.0 WAR and 2.5 WAR “average”. Amongst all players that is well above average. And 2010 he was hampered by oblique injury and of course 2012 he had the thumb injury.
Upton’s upside is much higher than Andrus, but Andrus is the steadier player in terms of defensive value, so he appears the equal of Upton when looking at the last 3-4 years in aggregate.
But he’s not equal. Andrus is never going to put up a 7-8 WAR season. Upton must have at least a reasonable chance, 10%-20% of putting up one or two such season in the next 3 years.
Even if he doesn’t quite reach that peak, he is a very good bet to put up a couple of 5-6 WAR seasons……the odds on that have to be much higher than Andrus.
Comment by shoewizard — November 11, 2012 @ 6:38 pm