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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Comments

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Miller Must be on Dope!

Cardinals have NO interest in Upton-where  would they play him? Holliday,Berkman,Jay and Craig all play the outfield and if Rasmus is not traded they have 5 outfielders who could start in the major leagues,not counting Schumaker who is an outfielder by trade and batting .285! Have some logic and do some homework, Miller-Cards are looking for starting pitching,left handed pitching specialist and maybe a defensive minded SS-NO outfielder!



Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:36 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

I have no idea who or how, but I'd expect the Giants to do some real dealing here soon.  Johnathan Sanchez, Brandon Crawford, Mike Fontenot, and any of the minor leaguers waiting to bump up would be no surprise to me if traded.  This team clearly needs a true deep threat for the lineup if they'ree going to make a real run at defending their surprise championship.



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:09 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Great post destiny_driven.  He gets my vote for gold glove, especially as shallow as he plays.  The pitchers will miss him.  NFCeast, did you even watch the 2008 postseason.  BJ Upton homered and hit ,250 in the 2008 world series(OK #'s but hardly choking).  You failed to mention he almost single handedly got them to the world series with 7 POST SEASON HOME RUNS at the age of 23. I seriously doubt if another 23 year old has ever done that. Many prospects such as Desmond Jennings were still in the minors at the age.  Upton is still young with a ton of potential. 



Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:53 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Alright, maybe someone can help me here. I'm curious as to why I'm not seeing any trade rumors for Clayton Kershaw? The Dodgers are 12 games out approaching August. They are having "issues" in the front office. Unless he signed a huge contract extension I completely missed, he's a rental, as he's on a 1 year deal. His contract was for 1 year, $500K. What they could get in return for him seems a big return on a small investment. And, turn right around and be in the race to sign him as a free agen next season. And, if he is an option to be on the trading blocks, I'd love to see the Tigers be a player. Kershaw would kill 2 birds with 1 stone, as Detroit needs a quality starter, and a left handed presence in the rotation.



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:46 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Why are people so down on BJ Upton?  He is an excellent center fielder.  He has pop in his bat.  At 26 years old he is a veteran who still has a good six or seven years left to his prime.  Upton very well could raise his average by cutting down on his strike outs.  Apparently, the Tampa Bay hitting coach doesn't have the answer, but I can see Upton moving elsewhere and responding to a new hitting coach's tactics.  If nothing else, Upton will save your pitching staff a few runs with his great range and glove.



Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:45 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Whats with all this BJ Upton talk as if he is some great player, he is average at best and nothing more. He had one decent season 5 years ago. His hits and batting average have steadily declined since 2007 and he is not an old player, just had one decent season. Go ahead and spend the farm for a .227 batter. He is not worth much in my book, he is fast and does steal bases when on, problem is when you bat .227 and dont walk at all either you are not helping your team. If you just need a good defensive CF with a lil bit of power you get UPTON, if you want to land a change making player look elsewhere. If you want him for playoffs, well he kind of disappeared in the 2008 World Series, almost like Houdini! Thats all I remember from him, I think he had a good series before that, he was and up and coming player, then completely choked in the world series and has been on the decline ever since. Am I wrong on this player? 



Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:52 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Aybar is a decent player but he is not in the same league as Reyes. The only way the trade makes any sense for the Mets is if they have no intention of signing Jose and just want to shed payroll. I am betting that they do sign him to Crawford money and attempt to market him as the most exciting player in baseball to get fans to come out and watch the non-contender Mets. 



Since: Aug 11, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:30 am
 

Upton draws interest, gets advice from brother

Aybar for Reyes is a steal for the Mets. They should do that so fast. But again what are the Angels thinking? Did they not learn from Vernon Wells ?


mjklaughfs
Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:16 am
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