Blog Entry

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

Posted on: July 24, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 9:01 pm
UptonBy Evan Brunell

Is it leverage or is there actual interest?

The Giants have been after Carlos Beltran hot and heavy these last few days, and apparently the idea of giving up top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler has grown to be more and more acceptable in fan and media circles as a price. That's hooey -- you don't trade an elite prospect for two months of an aging slugger, no matter how important he may be to the lineup.

Perhaps as a rebuttal to New York's demands, word has gotten out that the Giants are interested in the Rays' B.J. Upton, reports Fox Sports. While Upton's price isn't lower than Beltran's -- in fact, it might be higher -- two things work in Upton's favor. First is his age, as Upton will turn 27 in late August, while Beltran is 34. Add in Beltran making $18.5 million on the year, plus the inability for the team to offer arbitration, as it was written in his contract, and suddenly Beltran pales in comparison to Upton, who is under team control for one more season and is playing for the relatively cheap price of $4.825 million.

Of course, production has to be considered. Beltran is raking to the clip of a .291/.393/.520 mark while Upton struggles along at .229/.310/.395. This is a player, though, that once hit 24 home runs at age 22 (and batted .300) while stealing over 40 bases a year regularly. The potential for Upton is off the charts, and the feeling in baseball is that he's primed for a breakout as soon as he gets out of Tampa Bay.

Wheeler makes sense as a cost for Upton, but not Beltran. San Francisco isn't the only one with this idea, though, as a fellow Beltran suitor has been linked to Upton lately, with the Indians inquiring.

This seems more likely to be mere leverage the Giants are exercising, though. Right now, they're in "win now" mode, plus GM Brian Sabean is loathe to trade away his top prospects. That would seem to work against an Upton deal moreso than  a Beltran one. But Sabean needs to do his due diligence and show Alderson there are other options out there. Because the way it stands, there won't be a deal between San Francisco and New York -- not if Wheeler is the asking price.

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Since: Nov 9, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 5:23 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

As a lifelong Giants fan, I feel like the best chance they would have to win "now" would be to acquire Carlos Beltran.  But at the same time, I can't justify giving up a top prospect for a guy that, although he's hitting at an elite clip right now, could literally fall apart at the knees and contribute absolutely nothing to the team while he sits on the DL.  I think that Sabean should continue to play hardball until the Mets cave in.  They have to.  No other contending team will give up their top prospect for Beltran either.  They will all have the same thoughts and feelings about his age, contract situation, health, and the compromising of their farm systems.  The end result will be the Mets having to settle for a fair market price for an aging veteran.  I honestly don't think that there's a single team out there that's willing to overpay for a guy like Beltran.  Maybe they would if he were a pitcher, but definitely not for an outfielder that could be doomed to DH-only duty as soon as next year.

Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:43 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton


I'd prefer the Giants obtain an outfielder who has proven his worth. 

The Giants are trying to win NOW, and should invest in Beltran. 

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:28 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

This is a tough one. Carlos Beltran clearly gives you more pop in the short term than would BJ Upton, but at 34 does he legitimately qualify as the proverbial "piece" to a championship puzzle?

The answer to that question is probably "yes", but you really have to wonder how strong of a "yes" it should be. I think it's a somewhat weak "yes". Beltran's recent injury history inspires anything but confidence. And even though the Giants are in a "win now" mode, it's not like the window of opportunity is about to close. A good portion of the team's key contributors are under 30. With any luck the Giants will contend for the better part of the next decade. Why throw away a prospect for 2-3 months of a mid-thirty something outfielder with recent knee injury history? I know he costs more, but it seems like the Met who is worth the money and prospects is Jose Reyes. But what do I know? Reyes says he wants to remain in New York, and for what it's worth won't talk about a contract until the offseason. Mehhhhhhhh.

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