Trade Rumors

Hot Stove: Phillies Considered Favorites for Upton

While Upton is the center of the Braves attention, he may be in the center of the Phillies' field next year. Photo: AP

Slow news day today as we still wait for the dominoes to fall in the center field market, however, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported today that while B.J. Upton is the Braves top target, the Phillies are considered to be the favorite for the right handed center fielder.

The news that Atlanta is interested in Upton is not new and was reported here last week at Phillies Nation, however the fact that Upton is the club’s top center field target is. Carroll Rodgers of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported this news today with the tidbit that the Braves do not believe themselves to be contenders for Josh Hamilton but that it is too early to rule anything out.

Analysis: So far, we have heard that the Phillies’ top target is Michael Bourn, the Braves like Upton, the Giants are widely-favored to bring back Angel Pagan, and that Shane Victorino and the Reds may be a match. All it would take is one move to throw this carousel for a loop –  for instance Hamilton getting signed by any of them. Hamilton seems to be the most in play for Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, with the Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Seattle biding their time to see if they could get a discount.

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  1. BART SHART

    November 21, 2012 at 2:09 am

    I’ll believe it when I see it. And I do hope to see it.

  2. Rick Piccone

    November 21, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I hope the Phillies are careful about this! I’m not sure that they should invest so much money in B.J. Upton, he is only a .255 lifetime hitter and he strikes out A LOT!! His batting averages for the last 3 years are .237, .243, and .246, and he hits only about 25 HRs per year. His OBP last year was only .298! The offense goes through far too many cold spells as it is without adding all the strikeouts.

    • Ken Bland

      November 21, 2012 at 8:13 am

      While the expressed concerns about Upton are both popular, valid, and unlikely to completely change, let’s not forget he’s approaching prime years, and might be a better player in some facets as that prime time hits. Exactly where? That, I don’t know. I’d like to think that playing before an enthusiastic home crowd most all nights would inspire some better results as opposed to the sparse, if not loud at times Trop. I think it’d be essentially a good sign, and presumably would also hurt division rival Atlanta by forcing them to keep shopping for a hopefully less effective player.

      • Jeff Dowder

        November 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

        The contracts given to all three of these “top” outfield guys will likely be among the worst handed out to this year’s free agent crop. Upton does have somewhat of an upside, so I guess it’s come down to RAJ having to pick his poison.

      • Ryne Duren

        November 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

        hey ken! i agrre pal, makes sense to me. he’s still young and i think just as you. playing in front of fans with passion could make him flouish as a player to live up to his potential. with that said ken i’m leary about that. although it could happen but it didn’t happen for mayberry. and i think pence was hampered here for trying to do more than he should for our fans and it hurt him.

  3. Terry

    November 21, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I agree with Rick in the sense that he strikes out too much and has a low OBP, two things this team surely doesn’t need, but it’s worth noting that Tropicana isn’t exactly a hitter friendly park. Now while that obviously means nothing to his strikeout rate, chances are his power numbers would go up playing half his games at CBP, and when combined with his speed and defense, I think he’s worth taking a flyer on.

    It seems the other two names we keep hearing are Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton. Bourn strikes out just as much, with a fraction of the power, and Hamilton, comes with age and health issues. Both would be equally, or likely, more expensive, and both are left handed. I say Upton is the way to go..

    • schmenkman

      November 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

      B.J. Upton may hit more home runs as he continues to mature, but a move from the Trop to CBP by itself may not have the impact we expect.

      Overall, Tropicana suppresses home runs, and CBP is slightly homerun-friendly.

      But for right-handed batters in particular, the Trop suppresses home runs by RHBs by 9%, while CBP also suppresses HRs, by 6%.

      TAM: http://www.statcorner.com/team2.php?team=139&year=2012
      PHI: http://www.statcorner.com/team2.php?team=143&year=2012
      (these ratings are calculated by comparing the stats by both teams in a team’s home games, with stats by both teams in that team’s away games, against the same opponents)

      Tropicana hasn’t appeared to hurt Upton much so far: he has hit 118 home runs in his career. 60 at home, and 58 on the road

      I think Upton will be a fine player over the next several years. I don’t care whether he strikes out a lot, but one downside of signing him (as with Hamilton, Bourn, or Swisher) is giving up the 16th pick in the draft, which the Phillies would not have to do if they signed Pagan or Victorino.

      • Ryne Duren

        November 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

        you’re so right schmenk! i’ll take upton over the others. i think he has more upside. and as far as losing that 16th rd pick? so what ! the 16 th rd isn’t a big loss. if they got the pick we wouldn’t see him for at least 4-5-6 yrs? and that’s if he turned out to be any good at all! my take on that is. what diff does it make if they lost that pick or if they traded the pick for upton? either way they gotta pay him for his time here. does that make sense schmenk?

      • schmenkman

        November 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        Ryne, to clarify, the would lose the 1st round pick (16th overall).

  4. John From Philly

    November 21, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Sure he might strike out alot but what are the phils out fielders numbers? Our team needs to win now ….

  5. Bob in Bucks

    November 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    BJ does not excite me. His numbers are fair but not great. He would be an improvement but I wonder how much he is really worth over some combo of Mayberry plus a lefty. They would be much cheaper and are likely to actually come up with better offensive numbers.
    Hamilton is the only game-changer on the market. He is high risk/ high reward.

    I would not want to spend my last dollar on BJ.

  6. Nina Hartley

    November 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Yes yes yes get BJ!

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