Justin Upton was on the trade block for a bit last winter, but just how close were the Diamondbacks to actually trading the former number one pick?
We’ll probably never know. However, as ESPN’s Jayson Stark notes, a couple of American League teams made a strong push for the 23-year-old right fielder.
Between the November GM meetings and the December winter meetings, the Diamondbacks’ new GM, Kevin Towers, listened to a bunch of enticing offers on Justin Upton — including “a couple of deals with American League teams that could have made a lot of sense,” said team president Derrick Hall.
One of those packages was a deal with Boston that could have involved the likes of Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury and more. And at one point or another, Towers told Rumblings this past winter, two dozen teams expressed interest in the former No. 1 pick in the country. But finally, a couple of days into the winter meetings, Towers, manager Kirk Gibson and the brain trust reviewed the offers and decided, “We’re not going to do this. Let’s keep this guy.”
It’s probably a good thing the team decided to hold onto Upton. While his untapped potential has frustrated fans and, likely, the organization, he still leads the team with 11 home runs, 58 hits and a .498 slugging percentage.
Oh, and his three walk-off hits haven’t hurt.
Would the Diamondbacks be contending for the NL West crown if they traded Upton before the season began?
“Boy, that’s tough to say,” Hall answered. “There were some very interesting offers. But I would say no. We probably wouldn’t be.”
He’s probably right, and as the saying goes, sometimes the best deals are the ones you never make.