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  1. 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.

    Comment by Mr Punch — November 8, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  2. Re the title of the article, I think Dave wins, because he won’t have to respond to Upton trade offers in his chats anymore.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — November 8, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  3. Is 2011 Justin Upton the one who hit.333/.411/.622 1.033OPS at Chase or the one who hit .246/.328/.439 .767OPS on the road?

    Comment by Tomcat — November 8, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    Comment by JT Grace — November 8, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  7. Upton has more value.

    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

  8. 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.

    Comment by colin — November 8, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

  9. Dave,

    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

    Comment by deezy333 — November 8, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  10. Maybe he’s taking advice from David Glass or Dayton Moore.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 8, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  11. 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

  12. 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.

    Comment by Tomcat — November 8, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  13. Agreed. I don’t see the utility of his picking on Upton all the time.

    Comment by Baltar — November 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  14. @YanksFanInBeantown:
    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.

    Comment by Andy — November 8, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  15. BJ Upton Career
    Road .258/.335/.422
    Justin Upton Career
    Road .250/.325/.406

    One is an elite CF who spent his career in the AL East he is older but who knows what they would do in a different environment.

    Comment by Tomcat — November 8, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  16. This was going to be my comment as well. Upton, and don’t look back.

    Comment by Radivel — November 8, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

  17. What about Mike Olt instead of Andrus? Would a deal centered around Olt be acceptable to the Dbacks?

    Comment by Krog — November 8, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Middlebrooks and Buchholz for Upton. who says no?

    Comment by st — November 8, 2012 @ 2:46 pm


    Comment by makeitRayn — November 8, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  22. I’m wondering about Olt too since the DBacks are looking for a 3rd baseman. I’m curious if something centered around an Andrus/Olt for Upton/Bauer would be a possibility.

    Comment by Brendan — November 8, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  23. Lol.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — November 8, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  24. Rememb how Matt Holliday was going to suck once he left Coors?

    Comment by philosofool — November 8, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  25. Castro and Soriano for Upton and a top prospect (someone like Archie Bradley) Who says no?

    Comment by Matt — November 8, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  26. You gotta take Upton in a one for one. For the Rangers it looks like:

    (2013/14 Profar production- 2013/2014 Andrus production) + 3 years of Upton versus 2013/14 Andrus – 2013/14 Profar production.

    No brainer to me

    Comment by Petetown Matt — November 8, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  27. Cubs, considering the contract they just gave to Castro.

    Comment by Petetown Matt — November 8, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  28. That’s not enough to get Kate Upton as dugout reporter.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — November 8, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  29. Why can’t Profar play in 2013/14 with Andrus? It could be that Michael Young is the odd man out if Kinsler moves to LF or DH.

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — November 8, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  30. With Elvis Andrus, the only offensive value I see in him is
    1) He might fit as a leadoff hitter
    2) His wRC+ is above the SS average

    Even then, I’m not convinced in his bat.

    Comment by tbjfan — November 8, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  31. 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…

    Comment by Bill — November 8, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  32. You can only trade him once; so long as waiting doesn’t diminish his trade value, he’s smart to take his time and get the right return.

    Comment by RMR — November 8, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  33. Upton for Medlen, Venters, and Juan Francisco. Who hangs up first?

    Comment by LeeTro — November 8, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

  34. Man, Bauer in Arlington would almost have to be a train wreck though if he insists on continuing to work so high in the zone.

    Comment by Kyle — November 8, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  35. Oh, home/road splits. How conclusive.

    Comment by WS — November 8, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  36. I think your argument there is that HOF talent is unusual, which doesn’t address anything about Upton. The whole point in fact is that he is unusual. That 6 WAR season was not viewed as his ceiling.

    Comment by WS — November 8, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  37. That was actually his age 23 season.

    Comment by WS — November 8, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  38. not conclusive by a long shot, but a two hundred point split isn’t something you totally throw out either.

    Comment by Tomcat — November 8, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  39. I meant he will never have a 6 WAR season. He’s just not enough of a hitter.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  40. Do you know what “talent” means?

    I don’t think that you do…

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  41. The majority of Justin Upton’s road games take place in three of the 5 worst hitting parks in the game. The great majority of BJ’s road games are in positive hitting parks.

    And again, Chris Young is the only reason Upton isn’t a CF.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  42. And you failed to address the fact that Texas is a better hitting environment than Arizona, meaning that, if anything, Upton’s numbers should improve.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  43. No thanks, Middlebrooks already projects as a 25-30 hr player. +younger, +cheaper.

    Comment by Kc — November 8, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  44. Has he hit 30 home runs in a season? Has he had an OBP over .340? Has he stolen 20 bases? Has he had a 6 WAR season? Is he much younger at all? Is his ceiling as high as Upton’s 2011?

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 8, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  45. More like Delgado/Teheran, Francisco, Ahmed, La Stella.

    Comment by Josh — November 8, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

  46. 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.

    Comment by Robbie G. — November 9, 2012 @ 1:16 am

  47. Matt Holiday used to have a larger split in Rockies uniform

    Comment by Kampfer — November 9, 2012 @ 2:47 am

  48. Hitters hit worse on the road than at home

    Hitter with a good/great home hitting ballpark will be expected to hit even more worse on the road than at home (because they don’t get road stats at their great home ballpark)

    Hitters with a good/great home hitting ballpark who play lots of road games @ SF, SD & LAD will be expected to hit very much worse on the road than at home

    Not saying JUP would be a superstar away from ARI, but FFS the H?R splits is a crappy argument to hang him with.

    Comment by Paul — November 9, 2012 @ 3:56 am

  49. The majority of Justin Upton’s road games take place in three of the 5 worst hitting parks in the game.

    This is true, but he’s raked in Petco, so doesn’t that hurt this argument?

    Comment by Jack — November 9, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  50. Who is hanging him? I pointed out that in a more neutral environments(on average) his CF brother has better numbers all I am saying is that he has some question marks

    Comment by Tomcat — November 9, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  51. For the three years before he signed his FA contract with STL Matt Holliday had a road line of .303/.385/.475 but of course he was 3-4 years older than Upton

    Comment by Tomcat — November 9, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  52. 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

  53. “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

  54. “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

  55. 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.

    Comment by LeeTro — November 9, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  56. ” then that other OF I can’t even recall who is out of baseball”

    Elijiah Dukes

    Comment by Eric — November 10, 2012 @ 4:23 am

  57. This is really very simple.

    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

  58. What if no.

    Comment by Pete — November 11, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  59. This is hilarious.

    Comment by Pete — November 11, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

  60. Again, are we talking about results or talent? Because you’re talking about results, not talent. 2009 and 2011 ARE supposed to be mere previews of his really great years to come.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — November 12, 2012 @ 12:23 am

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