Blog Entry

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:03 am
You bet the rumors swirling around his Tampa Bay batting helmet have gotten B.J. Upton's attention.

"Thanks for all the support on twitter - I appreciate it," he tweeted from his @BJUPTON2 account Tuesday -- presumably as Atlanta, or Cincinnati, or San Francisco phoned Rays general manager Andrew Friedman yet again.

"Now I know how my brother felt this offseason," came another tweet from Upton. "Anyone hear any good trade rumors this week? Still here!"

Matter of fact, the buzz grew louder Tuesday surrounding Upton. Several industry sources believe that the Rays, at 9 1/2 games out in the AL East, will dump Upton by Sunday's non-waiver trading deadline the same way they dumped Matt Garza and bade farewell to free agents Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Grant Balfour last winter.

Money -- the lack of it, thanks in no small part to horrible attendance in Tropicana Field -- remains a significant problem for the Rays. And it's not getting any better.

Several clubs are looking for the kind of spark that Upton (.229, 15 homers, 53 RBIs, 23 steals, terrific defense) can provide. He would fit perfectly in San Francisco, especially if the Giants fall short in their quest to obtain the Mets' Carlos Beltran. The Giants, according to sources, have interest. So, too, do the Nationals, Reds, Pirates, Braves, Cardinals and, possibly, the Phillies writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And B.J. is right -- brother Justin, Arizona's right-fielder -- went through a similar stretch last winter.

"I've talked to him, and we laugh about it," Justin told me Tuesday afternoon. "When it comes down to it, like last winter with me, it's out of your control. You just have to do your thing, see what happens and let it be."

Difference is, Arizona is committed to Justin Upton, 23. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers made that clear last winter when he traded third baseman Mark Reynolds to Baltimore.

The Rays? Not so much with B.J., 26 -- much to Upton's chagrin.

"Obviously, he's played his whole career there and he lives there," says Justin, who said the brothers probably talk four or five times a week. "He wants to stay. It's always tough in a situation like that."

Ubaldo Jimenez to Yankees?

The Yankees appear to be in the best shape to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez if the Rockies decide to deal him, as colleague Danny Knobler writes. Here are takes from two scouts who have watched Jimenez pitch in recent days:

Scout one: "Quite frankly, he's not the same guy as he was last year. Before, when he needed to go get it, he'd hit 100 m.p.h. When I saw him in Denver, he'd reach back to muscle up and it was 95. [Atlanta's] Scott Proctor threw harder. If Ubaldo at sea level is 91, 92, 93, he's not the same guy."

Scout two: "I can't imagine Jimenez going anywhere. If he's on a real frickin' contender, he's a No. 3 right now. Something's missing."

Short hops, quick pops and backhand stops:

--Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he thinks Friday and Saturday will be the key days when the trade market loosens up and the action begins. "There are a lot of clubs out there with scouts looking at minor league clubs right now," Towers says.

-- While you might think they're looking to replace injured shortstop Stephen Drew, Towers says he is looking for pitching, pitching and pitching. Starting and/or relief.

-- The Giants, Rangers and Phillies have scouts in Cincinnati this week watching Mets' outfielder Carlos Beltran as New York GM Sandy Alderson enters the crucial final days before making one of the more significant decisions in recent Mets history. "Beltran looks real good right now," another scout who has been watching in Cincinnati this week says. "He's looking healthy."

-- One club that has spoken with Washington say closer Drew Storen can be obtained in the right deal.

-- Rival clubs say the Angels are diving into the trade market after owner Arte Moreno, hesitant at first, now has approved additional payroll for midseason help. While the Angels are looking for a third baseman, they would send shortstop Erick Aybar to the Mets for Jose Reyes straight up and take the rest of Reyes' $9 million 2011 salary if New York would bite (the Mets won't, they're keeping Reyes). "I'd do that if I'm the Mets," one NL executive says. "They're not going to be able to re-sign him. How can you give Reyes 10 years at $20 million [each] when he's hurt all the time?

-- Minnesota doggedly has insisted it can win a weak AL Central for the past month, and Tuesday night's comeback win in Texas was a big one. If the Twins do decide to become sellers, don't be surprised if they make outfielder Delmon Young available.

-- Well, in a weak market for starting pitchers, look who's coming off of the disabled list to start Friday for Seattle: Erik Bedard. He'll start against Tampa Bay unless something happens between now and Friday, and you can bet the scouts will swarm Safeco Field. Bedard has not thrown more than 100 innings in a season since 2007. He's at 90 now, so look out.

-- Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey continues to draw interest and Minnesota is expected to deal him.

-- The Marlins are looking to add, not subtract, and do not intend to deal closer Leo Nunez unless blown away with an offer. Florida is moving into a new stadium next season and has not gained near the momentum they had hoped this summer.

-- About that odd timing of Milwaukee acquiring closer Francisco Rodriguez and announcing it just after the All-Star Game ended? Rodriguez's former agent Paul Kinzer had failed to submit proper paperwork for K-Rod's 10-team no-trade list -- Milwaukee was on it -- and with K-Rod having hired Scott Boras recently, Mets GM Sandy Alderson was afraid Boras would correct the oversight. That's why, once the Mets and Brewers agreed to the deal, Alderson wanted it finalized as soon as possible, afraid that if they waited even one more day, Boras would get the list in and K-Rod would have power to scotch the deal.

-- Wonder what's taking so long for the trades to happen this week? Wonder why you read some rumors that turn out to be badly off the trail? Some insight from legendary executive Pat Gillick's Hall of Fame speech on Sunday: "As a young scout I, remember hiding up in trees with binoculars so no other scout would know I was interested in a prospect. I remember the assumed names or clever tactics we all used to get an edge and throw others off the scent."

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Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:34 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Seven's#1Son, It's the reason why I asked if I was missing something, because everything I saw only stated a 1 year contract for $500K. And what does not knowing the structue of a contract or deal have to do with baseball knowledge?? I didn't know the particulars about Kershaw's contract, so I must not know baseball?? Sorry if I pay more attention to the players actually playing baseball, instead of dwelling on their contracts. I'm a Tigers' fan, and have a strong opinion on what I feel they need to do for a playoff run, which would greatly improve with a quality lefty. Aren't you all high and mighty??

Since: Jun 16, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:15 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Tampa has had Upton long enough - let him go somewhere that he'll have some good coaching and begin to get that star of his shooting already.  He's one good hitting coach away from superstardom!

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:37 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

I know this probably has no bearing on reality, but i would love to see BJ join his brother in Arizona. The DBacks are still in a decent position to challenge for the west title and with injuries could use him. I know Parra is a decent left fielder but imagine the outfield speed with Upton/Upton/Young! Like I said I don't think there is a chance it will happen, but hey why not throw it out there.

Since: Nov 20, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:59 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

"shortstop to the Mets for straight up and take the rest of Reyes' $9 million 2011 salary if New York would bite (the Mets won't, they're keeping Reyes). "I'd do that if I'm the Mets," one NL executive says."

Who is that NL executive? The guy in charge of concesions at the Padre ball park? It is amazing the stupid things people will say as long as yu don't have to put a name to it so people could see how stupid it is.

Since: Apr 17, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:24 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

What the Dodgers should do is offer him 5 years at $30 mil similar to Lester or Gallardo and lock him up.  Before you post learn some baseball.
6 mill a year for the best leftie in the game? Nice try- Lester and Gallardo don't hold candles to Kershaw.

Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:35 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:03 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Johnathan Sanchez, Brandon Crawford, Mike Fontenot, and any of the minor leaguers waiting to bump up would be no surprise to me if traded.

rvsquare, I realize I haven't been keeping close enough track of your club, but isn't Sanchez still injured?  If he is, you can't very well trade him right now, any more than we can trade Joe Blanton.
And I don't know about Crawford, but, really, how much do you think you can possibly get for Fontenot?  Certainly not enough to make much of a difference in your lineup. 
Anyway, since I'm going to tonight's game in Philadelphia against your guys, maybe by tomorrow I can give you a scouting report on Fontenot.
And, hey, I hear that tonight they're going to make their second attempt to "run" Timmy out there!  I wonder if this illness is different from the mystery "ailment" he supposedly suffered that rendered him unfit to pitch in the 2008 All-Star Game?  I guess we'll find out tonight! 

Since: Dec 26, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:36 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

It is obvious that you are missing something. Kershaw is under team control for 3 more years as he becomes arbitration elligible next year. What the Dodgers should do is offer him 5 years at $30 mil similar to Lester or Gallardo and lock him up.  Before you post learn some baseball.

Since: Apr 8, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

The Mets should keep Beltran and go for the Wild Card. It's July 27, two months left in the season. Braves are getting hurt (Jones and now McCann), Mets are getting healthier (Wright, maybe Ike Davis & Santana). Mets will not get top prospects for a 2-month rental such as Beltran. As long as they are willing to pay his salary to play for another team, Mets should keep him and pay him to play for them.

Since: Aug 6, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:58 pm

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

What? Aybar is an average shortstop, Reyes is an elite shortstop...No way in hell would the Mets do that deal unless they felt that they didn't have any prayer of re-signing him...

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