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: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:41 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:34 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 11:44 pm

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

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Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:38 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

One thing to not forget though was that Upton was a complete beast in 2008 when Tampa Bay made the playoffs.  He basically got them to the World Series.  Beltran did the same with Houston in 2004, but that was 7 years ago.  If you are making the trade to resign one of the hitters I would go Upton all the way.  If you are truly going to rent a player for the stretch run... then I wouldnt argue Beltran.  I just think if you sell the farm system for a rental you have to be cautious.

Look at the Atlanta Braves.  They are known for great trades, but the Teixeira trades were terrible.  The Rangers trade Teixeira to the Braves for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, and Matt Harrison.  The Braves then in a way to avoid arbitration... redeal Teixeira for Casey Kotchman (always underacheiver at MLB level) and a pitcher yet to reach the majors.  My point being you cant trade the farm for a cow and then not put up a fence to contain the cow.  If you buy him just to let him run away.... what was the point of trading for him.  Any team making this deal... needs to lock up the OF for a longterm deal, and if you are not willing to do that, then why trade for them in the first place because they are going to have to break the bank to get them.

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:25 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

@ ACShoops33  very good points!!

Since: Jul 14, 2011
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:58 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

I have to say that I completely agree with you....and this comes from a lifelong Mets fan, and a HUGE Carlos Beltran speak the truth and I know the mets will have to "settle for a fair market price for an aging veteran," but a fan can hope that we get some team to offer up too much!  Either way, trading him is a much as I'll miss him...and cry myself to sleep for a week or so...

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:39 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

As a Rays fan I can tell you many here are split on BJ. 
Some hate him because he has never lived up to his potential and, at times, appears to have been doggin it.  He also never seemed to be the brightest guy in the field (knowing which base to come up throwing to etc...)

Personally, I think he has learned those fundemantals and keeps his head in the game better.  I also think every part of his game is exceptional except OBP and AVG.

Neither one of those things are EVER going to get better unless he changes his swing.  It has not happened in Tampa yet.

I think he will and should go somewhere else.  Maybe a fresh start can at least get him to hit .265 +

Of course, there are many who believe he is what he is, a very streaky hitter who will never crack .250 and will always be among the leaders in strikeouts.  He will still hit 20 HRs and get 35+ stolen bases and play an excellent CF.

Regardless, I like him and wish him the best and believe the Rays SHOULD trade him him assuming they get something damn good in return.

Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:59 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

you don't trade an elite prospect for two months of an aging slugger, no matter how important he may be to the lineup.
I'm glad someone finally said this out loud. I've been saying this for weeks. Who's crazy enough to build the Mets future to rent Beltran?

As a Braves fan, I've been crossing my fingers the Red Sox land Beltran so we don't have to part with our highly touted pitching prospects for 2 months of Beltran.

We did trade Neftali Feliz, Matt Hairston and Elvis Andrus for Mark Texeira once. That was supposedly a different kind of deal, with Teixeira hoping to stay with the Braves. That didn't work out too well, and I hope the Braves remember how it worked out, and what kind of talent was sent to Texas. Stocking up a division rival on talent would be an awful idea...

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:12 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

The Rays were able to cash in on Garza because they had hellickson waiting for a spot. The same goes for Upton now that they have desmond jennings playing.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:34 am

Giants turn eyes toward B.J. Upton

This year, and down the road a bit, I think the Giants would be much better with Upton.  Sure, he's only hitting .229, but it's the power and the RBI they need--and the speed doesn't hurt.  While Beltran isn't quite A. Huff in the OF, he's no whiz kid either.  The article has it right: if you give up a top prospect like Wheeler, it's for more than two months of average and risk.

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