Thursday, it was reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that some MLB executives around the league believe the Tigers could be discussing with the Diamondbacks for outfielder Justin Upton.
The rumor of a Justin Upton deal to Det in a package that included Castellanos, A.Garcia & Smyly definitely makes sense if Dbacks add piece
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) November 8, 2012
Rosenthal also gives more insight on the deal:
One executive suggests the Detroit Tigers as a possible darkhorse for Justin Upton. The Diamondbacks want a shortstop or a third baseman, and the Tigers could offer third-base prospect Nick Castellanos and a combination of other players, including right fielder Avisail Garcia and pitchers Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.
I am not suggesting that the Tigers would trade any or all of those players for Justin Upton; it’s just one exec’s speculation. But the Tigers at least have the players to make such a deal happen, and Dave Dombrowski is one of the game’s boldest, most aggressive GMs.
Last season the now 25-year-old Upton was .280/.355/.430 with 67 RBIs and 17 home runs in 150 games played. Throughout his six year career Upton has accumulated a .278 batting average and a .967 fielding percentage in the outfield having not really lived up to his first-round, first-overall draft stats from back in 2005. Furthermore it’s somewhat perplexing that the Diamondbacks are so steadfast on trading Upton considering this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors surrounding the still young and talented outfielder.
Off hand too it would seem like the Tigers are giving up too much in this potential deal, however given what what Detroit has gone through the past month a deal for Upton isn’t that far fetched.
After going to and eventually losing the World Series, an 83-year-old Mike Ilitch could be more desperate than ever to field a winning team in 2013. This could mean instructing GM Dave Dombrowski to empty out what’s left of the farm system and giving him an open check book to work with.
And with Ilitch’s age, the short-term (and not the long-term) future may be more important.
Sure Avisail Garcia and especially Nick Castellanos would be more beneficial to the Tigers in the season’s to come but a guy like Justin Upton could surely benefit right away hitting in a lineup that consists of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.
Of course, this may all depend too on what happens with Anabal Sanchez and whether or the not the Tigers can lock him up long-term. Essentially the loss of Sanchez could mean Smyly being re-inserted back into the rotation.
h/t: FoxSports.com, ESPN