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  1. “…a team’s willingness to trade such a talented player simply raises too many questions.” Exactly.

    Doesn’t make a lot of sense for AZ to move a young, affordable Upton, unless a) they believe he’s chronically injured and will never reach his potential, b) the owner just doesn’t like him for some reason, or c) they believe the little production they’ve gotten from him this season can be easily replaced in house by both calling up a few prospects and by trading him for other MLB or near-MLB ready pieces that still help AZ compete in 2012.
    Personally I think it’s a combo of a and b, but the real curious piece is why make all this known to the public? Why not pinpoint several organizations that have the players you want and call them behind the scenes to make Upton available? Seems like this would have been more effective than announcing it to the masses where everyone does exactly what is being done here – questioning the move, which does nothing but lower Upton’s “trade” value. Seems strange, especially just coming off an MVP-caliber season. With so little “power” available in MLB today (especially the NL), why not build around the very player most teams consider to have “best player in baseball” potential?

    Comment by LuckyStrikes — July 17, 2012 @ 11:16 am

  2. Sadly Fielder finished 3rd. Upton 4th. Nice comp though.

    Comment by Los — July 17, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  3. Dear Mr. Jackie Peanuts:

    Your point in the third-to-last paragraph–that Arizona’s willingnes to trade him raises numerous red flags–is most especially true when one notes that he spent a large chunk of last season (a season in which he was excellent) on the trade block as well. If it’s not a question of work ethic, potential medical red flags, or off-field troubles, then why are they willing to part ways with such a gifted player? It’s baffling, and yet I’m so intrigued by the possibility of Justin Upton and Andrew McCutchen in the same outfield that I can’t wait for it to actually happen and wouldn’t care about the why and hows. The only other possibility that I think of is that he might be a hard-working, clean-nosed guy who’s also a colossal jerk to everyone. That’s the only possible explanation I can think, and yet that doesn’t justify being rid of him.

    Also: two proofreading points. There should be a comma following “work ethic” in the seventh paragraph, and I really wonder what a “degenerate” shoulder looks like (second to last paragraph). It would probably combine the inherent weakness and slack of Carson Cistulli and the uncontrolled mania of Dayn Perry during one of his dipsomaniacal episodes. A wholly unreliable shoulder, that.

    Comment by dp — July 17, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  4. Who?

    Comment by Ryan — July 17, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  5. I wonder if the negative comments to the press actually can raise Upton’s trade value? Consider three reasons Arizona might want to trade Upton: 1) Excessive injury risk, 2) Low performance expectations, 3) Personal issues with management. 1) and 2) are things that will net Arizona less for him: If Arizona can make it seem like 3) is the case, then other clubs might weight the possibilities of 1) and 2) less, and Upton’s trade value might ultimately be higher, because a “change of scenery” really will change his value.

    Announcing that you want to trade Upton decreases his value, since who wants to trade a good cheap player, but running a PR campaign against him might offset some of the decrease in value from the announcement (as long as the PR campaign doesn’t highlight a lack of skills or injury risk).

    Comment by Kinanik — July 17, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  6. Get him over to Seattle! He can join Gutierrez on the “wildly talented but inconsistent and frequently injured” section of the disabled list.

    And then one more outfielder like that and we could have the best defensive DL in all of baseball.

    Comment by Snowblind — July 17, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  7. I’ve been questioning KT’s common sense as well. This has been pretty bizarre.

    Comment by Spike — July 17, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  8. Prince Fielder

    Comment by Jacob — July 17, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  9. There’s a huge gap between Upton’s home and road OPS splits over the course of his career. Seeing how he plays in a park where it’s easy to hit HR’s, any GM considering him should really investigate the hell out of that discrepancy. Most of it may be due to reasons other than the park, but if not, then it’s a big warning sign. It would be a waste to trade for him if you’re the Mariners, SF, or San Diego. On the other hand, he’d do real well with teams that play in a bandbox like the Yankees or Philadelphia. Buyer beware (depending on your home park!).

    Comment by caseyB — July 17, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  10. Sheffield was a user of anabolic steroids. He trained with and was supplied by the same people as Barry Bonds. How is it possible for someone to write an article that discusses Gary Sheffield early in his career, imply that he was a very productive player but neglect to mention that he cheated? The fact that he cheated explains much of his performance and makes using him as a comparison impossible as it is unlikely that Upton will be able to get the same competitive advantage.
    WAKE UP! If you leave out the really important factors and use statistics (Upton’s vs. Sheffield’s WAR for instance) to analyze minutia you are not seeing the forest for the trees. This makes you a bad statistician. Use statistics and tell me what you think his career would look like without anabolic steroids and especially good ones gotten from Bond’s dealer?

    Comment by j cheatman — July 17, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  11. I do not believe they are going to trade him or are actively shopping him. I take Towers at his word. He will listen on everyone – it will help him know the value of his players, and if someone blows him away, he’ll bite. Basically if a team offers much more value than he believes Upton will deliver, he has to make the trade. I don’t think that is going to happen.

    Comment by Brian MacKinney — July 17, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  12. Oh this again? Yawn. You need to get over it and move on.

    Comment by harperhill — July 17, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  13. Sheffield took PEDs, yes, but how does that impact the comparison? The on-field performance was similar to where Upton is today. There’s no indication that Sheffield’s PED usage played any part in San Diego’s decision to move him, or the quality of the haul they received in return. Just like PEDs don’t seem to be a factor in Arizona’s considerations of whether to move Upton.

    You can argue the ‘validity’ of Sheffield’s performance then vs. Upton’s now, but that’s beside the point of the posting. The parallels in the actual, on-field results make the comparison interesting.

    Comment by nickolai — July 17, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  14. This sounds like a job for Carl Crawford

    Comment by Trevor — July 17, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  15. career OPS @ Chase field: .924
    career OPS @ PETCO park: .906

    wat.

    Comment by evil kevin towers — July 17, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  16. This is too easy: (1) Sample size: Upton’s had only 151 PA in Petco while nearly 1,400 in Chase Field. (2) The Padres, especially their pitchers, suck balls.

    To delve further, Upton hasn’t hit particularly well at Coors Field – his numbers in that launching pad are a bit south of his career numbers. And he’s been downright anemic in San Francisco – a club unlike San Diego that actually has taken advantage of their pitcher’s park by fielding a team with good pitchers. Chase Field is a pinball machine where balls carry well, with the best hitter’s background in the game. Upton’s home/road splits should be taken into consideration by any GM.

    Comment by 39Bailey — July 17, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  17. i’m a season ticket holder in the desert and there have been rumblings for years about upton’s attitude (and relationship with gibby). mark reynolds was moved, in part, because the brain trust thought he was a bad influence on upton. everyone says the right things but there has been something brewing under the surface for a while here…

    also, i haven’t heard any of upton’s teammates rushing to the media to defend their guy (or question management for making him available) which makes me wonder how he is recieved in the locker room

    Comment by nscheer — July 17, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  18. Colorado is a weird example because that can only suggest that his home/road splits aren’t necessarily about park factors. His 1400 PA away from Arizona are obviously a larger sample than his numbers in any one road park, but 1400 PA isn’t a huge sample either. It’s still very possible that we’re dealing with a Matt Holliday situation and that Upton’s home/road BABIPs will even out a bit and/or he is just a better player at home, no matter where that home is.

    Comment by shamus mcfitzy — July 18, 2012 @ 7:42 am

  19. Trade him for Dwight Howard.

    Comment by Patrick — July 18, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  20. “This is too easy: (1) Sample size: Upton’s had only 151 PA in Petco while nearly 1,400 in Chase Field. (2) The Padres, especially their pitchers, suck balls” – 39Bailey

    So you’re actually claiming that Upton’s success at Petco Park is due to Padres’ pitchers sucking? Really? Maybe you should look at the stats sometime. Here’s the OPS allowed for the Padres’ staff at Petco over the past six years, along with their ranking among NL teams at home, and the overall OPS allowed in the NL for that year:

    Year / OPS / Rank / NL OPS
    2007: .630 / 1 / .759
    2008: .679 / 2 / .750
    2009: .663 / 3 / .743
    2010: .639 / 1 / .726
    2011: .656 / 4 / .713
    2012: .672 / 5 / .722

    No other NL staff, not even the Giants, has ranked in the top 5 in OPS allowed at home in each of the past 6 years.

    Comment by BosoxBob — July 18, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  21. It might be boring but the point is that he might have been just another player who had one good year rather than a borderline hall of famer worth remembering and comparing to a promising young player like Upton. Mike Greenwell had one great year in 1988 and finished second in the MVP vote and never approached those numbers again. I rarely see articles written about him and his career. It would be a yawn and a bore to point out the MVP that year was Canseco. It is true that the point of the article was to discuss Arizona and their thought process on maybe moving Upton. Still Sheffield’s career being so wonderful suggests that it is a bad idea to move a promising young player like Upton but Greenwell’s career suggests that there was little elite production resembling his 1988 year.

    Comment by j cheatman — July 18, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  22. so how many years until Upton is a +6.0 WAR player like Sheff in 1996?

    Comment by troybruno — December 19, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

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