Trade Option: Justin Upton – Phillies Nation
2010-11 Free Agency

Trade Option: Justin Upton

During the early stages of the winter, we’ll take a look at some of the options possibly available on the trade market that might intrigue the Phillies. With the Jayson Werth situation looming large, some of these players may or may not be a good fit for the Phils.

Playing in the desert has kept him from becoming a household name, but Justin Upton is nearly there. Could a trade change that?

The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly gauging interest on their 23-year old outfielder, one of the premier youngsters in baseball. Would the Phillies have interest? Absolutely. Would they have what it takes to get pry him from the D’Backs? Highly unlikely.

Multiple reports have the Diamondbacks asking for four or five players in any trade for their burgeoning superstar, including up to three which would be major league ready. Jon Heyman of says an American League executive called the asking price “ridiculous.” As of now, there have been no reports linking the Phils to the D’Backs rightfielder, but that doesn’t mean the Phillies haven’t at least asked about him.

Upton would be a best-case scenario replacement should Jayson Werth leave town. The 2010 season was a bit of a down year for B.J.’s younger bro, as he hit just .273 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI. Upton had a breakout in 2009 with a .300 average to go with 26 homers and 86 RBI. It was a bit of a step backward however, he’s a guy many are willing to take a shot on. If the price is right.

Upton is dealing with an injury that could scare some teams away – he has a torn labrum in his shoulder that is not in need of surgery. His contract is rather friendly – he signed for six-years and $51 million before last season – but the haul Arizona will seek has some wondering if anyone but the Red Sox or Yankees will be able to afford it. Beyond the prospects, would it be worth it for the Phillies, or many other teams for that matter, to pay for two seasons of Upton. In 2016, Upton will be a free agent and could seek near $20 million per season.

The Phillies could use a youthful infusion with a guy like Upton adding to the impending breakthrough of Dominic Brown. The only problem is, Upton would cost the Phillies Brown and then some. Pillaging the farm system yet again doesn’t seem to be the brightest idea, although some argue Upton would be worth it. If the price drops some, look for Ruben to put his nose in the race, although it’s still a long-shot. At the very least, a trade to Boston would send Jayson Werth’s price down a bit.

CHANCES: Very, very low. Upton is a fine, young talent, but it’s unlikely the Phillies have what it takes to snag him from the lowly Diamondbacks. I give it one Ruben head out of 10 that Upton becomes a Phillie.



  1. Geoff

    November 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I would avoid this deal…far too expensive in terms of prospects for a guy that is good but not a megastar.

  2. Andrew from waldorf

    November 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm


  3. bsizzle

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Is Upton projected to be that much better than Dom Brown?

  4. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I believe your contract numbers are off. He’s owed $4.25/2011, $6.75/2012, $9.75/2013, $14.25/2014, $14.5/2015.

    That’s a a very team friendly contract. It should enable the Phils to resign Werth and go with Upton, Werth and Brown while using Vic, Raul and $$ to get some need prospects in the deal.

  5. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm


  6. Pat Gallen

    November 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks PSU, I didn’t catch my mistake. I’ll give it a change.

  7. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    No problem. It’s the team friendly contract that makes Upton so desirable. Tough to get production like that for that little $$$. teams will over pay, but we’ll see just how much.

  8. Bart Shart

    November 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    A 10% chance to land Justin Upton…That’s about right. The Diamondbacks will want a king’s ransome for this talented youngster. He has proven to be a major leaguer. Dom Brown has not proven himself ………yet. I have watched Upton on tv for two years. He has enormous potential, enormous.

  9. Ted Bell

    November 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Upton is actually a week younger than Domonic Brown and already has over 1700 big league plate appearances. Of course he’s not a “megastar” yet, he’s still a baby in the grand scheme of things. At age 22, he already has three full major league seasons under his belt. For comparison, Howard & Utley’s first full seasons came at age 26.

    I’d include Brown in the deal because:
    A. As long as Howard & Utley are the core of this team the Phillies will need a righthanded threat.
    B. Brown hasn’t proven anything at the big league level yet – Upton has a track record of three full seasons and he’ll only get better.

    That being said, it will take a package consisting of a lot more than Domonic Brown to bring Justin Upton to Philly.

    I’m Ted Bell.

  10. The Beerman

    November 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Ummm…I love the Ruben heads…but yea psujoe, the dbacks will want brown in any package…plus a lot more…and they wont want ibanez, thats also for sure. but if it got upton here, i’d take upton over brown in a heartbeat…you’d have to tear the minor league system apart to pull this off you’d think

  11. Chuck

    November 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    So….. do we want Upton in Philly..??


    Upton to go to Boston, driving Werth’s price down some, enabling the Phillies to possibly re-sign Werth.??

  12. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I realize the D-Backs don’t want Raul, but I think the Angels might take him if the Phils paid a big portion of his salary. Not sure they’d getHe’s an upgrade over Matsui last year.

    I’d like both Upton and Werth in Philly, LOL.

    How much more than Brown would it take? Brown, Schwimmer and Singleton?

  13. Geoff

    November 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I have to admit a bit of an error here. I thought Upton was older than that, which changes my opinion. They need to investigate his shoulder problem, if it checks out, then I’d be ok with that deal then. So I will admit I was mistaken there, which is a rare occurrence – figuring he was like 25 or so by now because hes been around for a while.

  14. Geoff

    November 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Brown, Cosart, Rizzotti?

    Singleton is going absolutely nowhere. He was moved to LF to groom for future starting position potentially. I think they may actually find an AL taker for Raul. A bunch of AL teams need lefty DH type tweener guys and the Philes could offer to pay some salary to make it a low-risk one year deal for that other team and a better alternative to a team that cannot afford to pay up big for that position perhaps…

  15. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    How did Singleton do in LF?

    In other news stellar rookie bobovskry got pulled tonight. 4 goals on 11 shots. I hope it doesn’t mess with his confidence.

  16. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I was thinking the Angels could use Raul to replace Matsui. I figure Phils would need to pony up at least $6 million. Not sure what Phils would get back.

    Holy hand grenades. 7-6 Flyers halfway through the second.

  17. psujoe

    November 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Phils hired Mickey Morandini to Manage Williamsport. Excellent coaching moves recently.

  18. The Dipsy

    November 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    God, If we could get rid of Ibanez and have to pay only half of what he’s owed, I would personally drive him to spring training.

    The Dipsy

  19. Ryan Hoffman

    November 18, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    The article is still wrong “Beyond the prospects, would it be worth it for the Phillies, or many other teams for that matter, to pay for two seasons of Upton. In 2016, Upton will be a free agent and could seek near $20 million per season.”
    Please, before you write an article of this type, how bout a second or two of research.
    As for should they do this? Yes. The Phillies have at least 1 year left to compete, probably 2, and maybe, MAYBE 3. At that point you would be able to trade Upton, Halladay, and maybe even Utley (Please God, No) if you can’t compete in that third year and replenish the system.

    Anyway, I’m thinking Brown, Gosart, Singleton, and Sanchez.

  20. Pat Gallen

    November 19, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Hey Ryan, you’re hired! You’re our new proofreader! But the pay sucks, so good luck.

  21. bostonkate

    November 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Way too expensive. We need youth in the lineup though.

  22. George

    November 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Brown, Cosart and Singleton still adds up to two fewer players than the Diamondbacks apparently are asking for, and Cosart and Singleton aren’t major league ready. (Brown might not be either, judging by his 2010 results.)

    I can’t see this trade happening at all. No team will give up all their depth for one player, particularly one with a questionable shoulder.

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