Mariners Insider

So Justin Upton ….

Post by Ryan Divish on Jan. 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm with 11 Comments »
January 3, 2013 3:35 pm

And so it begins yet again. We’ve talked on here before about how well Justin Upton fits with what the Mariners need. The two teams have had talks leading back to the winter meetings. It’s a much better fit than Andre Ethier and his bloated contract and failure to hit lefties.

The Mariners could use Upton’s presence in the middle of order, and having him hitting in front of Kendrys Morales could definitely be a lineup changer.

So now the question is …. what will the Mariners have to give up? Well, they are going to have to give up AT LEAST one of the Big Four (James Paxton, Brendan Maurer, Taijuan Walker or Danny Hultzen) if not more, Nick Franklin and then maybe Mike Carp or even a reliever like Steven Pryor.

Do you make the deal? Yes, yes you do. Upton makes the Mariners more relevant offensively as well as signal to Felix Hernandez and Mariners fans that they are serious about making improvements.

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  1. jawpeace says:

    For me the deciding factor is how many years are left on Upton’s current contract. If it is only one or two years…NO DEAL. If he has more than it should be entertained.

  2. I’m concerned about giving up any of the “big 4″.

  3. interception says:

    Been wondering when Uptons name would finally come up. Rather have Stanton, but, so would any other team. Uptons the next best IMHO, and he is still young. If he only has a year or two on his contract, maybe work out a deal with him (on paper, for the another 4 years or so.
    You mean that you actually thot that we wouldn’t have to give up one of the big 4 for a good player? Carp is a great idea to give up and a MI would help most teams and we also have Liddi and a RP (maybe Kinney instead? only signed for one year.
    I just hope that they sign a good player for the OF, so we have a decent team for a change. Our club is still young

  4. bbnate420 says:

    I believe he has 3 years left on his deal. A little under 10 mil for 2013 and a little over 14 mil for 2014 and 2015 each.

    The down year does concern me a little, but I think you have to pull the trigger. There’s nothing any good out there. Nothing that great on the horizon for next off-season. I’d give them Paxton or Maurer, Franklin, and Carp.

  5. Vegas56 says:

    Justin Upton would be a good choice for the Mariners to pursue…I assure Texas will be gunning hard for him. He was down last year, even in a good hitting park but he faces some outstanding pitchers in the NL West and one off year is going to happen from time to time. He’s a solid young star but he’s no Pujols – he will not carry a team on his back.

    Even so, the Mariners will not land him without a package that includes one of the big four, Franklin and probably a couple of lesser-lights, one major-league ready. As bbnate posted above, I wouldn’t put Walker or Hultzen in that deal.

  6. TODDCAMERON says:

    What IS interesting is the Arizona Diamondbacks, after an embarrassing rebuff during the winter meetings, continue to pester the Seattle Mariners, and the “media” claims it’s all about Justin Upton, but Upton has to OK a trade to Seattle, and he’s steadfast in his refusal to come here; desperate to protect his “power” numbers: 22 HR, .285 avg., 77 RBI. Yawn. They can keep him.
    If we’re gonna talk trade, let’s talk about a slugger, not a dilettante.
    Let’s talk about 6′ 0″ 230 lb. 31 year old Jason Kubel.
    Now there’s an old school lumberman to talk about.
    But if we’re gonna talk about Kubel, we’ve got to talk about what Seattle has to trade, and what Arizona needs.
    So let’s head straight to the pitching.
    Arizona’s starters look like this:

    Miley: 194 innings, 3.34 ERA, 16 wins
    Cahill: 200 innings, 3.78 ERA, 13 wins
    Kennedy: 208 innings, 4.02 ERA, 15 wins

    After that you have Hudson, Corbin, and Saunders who combined have roughly a 4.50 ERA and 12 wins between them.

    At least on the surface, it would seem Arizona could use a bona fide jewel from the crown of our starting pitching prospect pool.

    What the Mariners might be willing to give up that the Diamondbacks might want:

    1.) Blake Beavan. Beavan won 11 games with a 4.43 ERA and is only 23 years old. In his two seasons, he averages 19.5 walks… a season. The only people who don’t recognize the value of this guy are those who are utterly ignorant of baseball.

    2.) Danny Hultzen is the most likely of the “Big Three– or Four” for the Diamondbacks to be interested in. The left hander is expected to be major league ready out of Spring Training, is older (24) and allegedly more mature than Beavan, and as noted above, is a left hander.

    Beavan would make a great rock-solid #4 or eventually #3 starter for the Diamondbacks, while Hultzen could allegedly grow into a #2 starter.
    Beavan’s pinpoint control with his breaking pitches could make him a 15 game winner in the National League, which is only four more than he won for Seattle last year in only 26 starts, with baseball’s worst offense, so projecting 15 wins is not a long reach.
    Personally, I would rather keep Beavan and his freakish 19.5 walks per season in 150+ innings…but finding a way to get Kubel here is of course the objective. I would prefer one of these guys combined with someone like 27 year old AAA RHP Andrew Carroway, who was the 2011 Mariners organization pitcher of the year, and the #1 starter last year at AA Jackson in front of #2 Walker, #3 Hultzen, and #4 Paxton. He is also a control pitcher with fairly polished stuff, and could project as an improvement to the bottom of the Diamondbacks’ rotation.

    And for further depleting the Mariners starting rotation, what do we Mariners fans get here in Seattle?

    Jason Kubel, who is not a dilettante like Upton, but an old school thumper, with more RBI than Upton, lots more HR’s than Upton, and he plays EVERY DAY starting 143 games last year.

    Jason Kubel is a #5 or #6 hitter for the Mariners. A Left Fielder for the Diamondbacks, he is the coveted corner outfielder the Mariners are allegedly searching for. A veteran of six MLB seasons (originally from the Minnesota Twins) in 143 games and 506 AB, Jason Kubel hit .253 with 30 HR, .506 slugging, and an .833 OPS. and 90 RBI to go along with 256 total bases and (YIKES) 151 strike outs.

    A left handed hitter, it’s likely he would maintain his power output at Safeco, with right field being historically about the only place the ball will reliably leave the park. He strikes me as profiling like Jay Buhner, just before Buhner changed from a mistake hitter to three consecutive years of 40 HR, 100+ RBI, but always significant strikeout numbers, like all power swingers.

    Jason Kubel spent five years in the American League with the Twins (hitting .300 in 2009, in 514 AB), and only one with the Diamondbacks, so it’s likely he can hit American League pitching, unlike Ethier, who would stare at the giggling change ups and sneering curve balls in the American League …and rupture himself, swinging–and missing–three times before the ball crossed the plate.

    This deal seems to make some sense, and fills a need for both teams, and makes signing a hitter like Nick Swisher seem like signing your little sister.

    And it’s rumored–on he Diamondbacks website– that the Diamondbacks have made Kubel available for starting pitching.

    Your thoughts?

  7. Palerydr says:

    I’ve been beating the Kubel drum for quite some time now so I agree with that portion of your argument. However he is a defensive liability in either corner outfield spot not so much at 1B. I would trade Beavan in a heartbeat just because he doesn’t walk guys doesn’t equate to a great pitcher. His fastball is avg at best for a RH pitcher. IMO he will never be more than a .500 pitcher even on a good offensive club. If the Dbacks want him they can have him. The tough part is projecting which of the “Big 4″ will become a legit starter in the league cuz that’s the guy you don’t want to trade. Chances are 1 of them will become inj prone and another 1 or 2 just won’t live up to the projections.

    The Mariners are also rumored to be looking for another a starter(MLB network yesterday)with Joe Saunders and Kyle Lohse possible targets. Lohse will want a ton of money as this is certainly his last contract although he’s pitched well the last 2 years I’m not sold on him. Saunders is a #4 starter with avg stuff(avg whip for his career is 1.37 UGH!) but he is a lefty and will come considerably cheaper which is a Mariner trend, sign the cheap veteran.

    My best guess for the rotation
    Felix Hernandez
    Erasmo Ramirez
    Hisashi Iwakuma
    TBD
    TBD

    Not real solid, VERY concerning.

  8. bbnate420 says:

    If Zona would take Beavan for Kubel, do it yesterday. But I SERIOUSLY doubt they would. Upton has put up a better season than Kubel ever has, and he will turn 26 near the end of the 2013 season. Obviously, I’d rather have Gia Stanton, but that’s prob a pipe dream. The M’s need to sign a middleing/decent starter for 2013. Bringing back Millwood would be very nice IMO. I wouldn’t give up Hultzen or Walker for Upton, unless that significantly reduced the rest of what they had to give up for him. I’d give Paxton or Maurer, Franklin, Carp, and a young reliever.

  9. TODDCAMERON says:

    Upton and Giancarlo Stanton (whom we’d ALL like to see here) are not coming here.
    Upton flat refuses. Miami wants any trade package for Stanton to start with “King Felix and …”

    Kevin Millwood re-signed is something that seems to make sense, if Kevin still wants to live cross-country from home.

    But as far as Upton having a better season last season that Kubel has ever had? Check the stats first, including Franklin’s, by the way.
    First, base your comments on fact, then ground them in reality.

  10. bbnate420 says:

    TODDCAMERON, the only reality that I see is that YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO READ before you speak. I NEVER said that Upton had a better season last year than Kubel has ever had! “Upton has put up a better season than Kubel ever has, and he will turn 26 near the end of the 2013 season.” This is subjective obviously, but I HAVE looked at the stats. I said in an earlier post in this thread about Upton, “The down year does concern me a little, but I think you have to pull the trigger.” And it is speculation that Upton refuses to come here. He may be using the no-trade clause to get a bigger contract. I’m not the first one to suggest that.

    Justin Upton’s WAR from 2011= 5.7. Kubel’s highest WAR ever, from 2009, was 3.1. Upton’s not a great defensive player, but he’s not nearly the horrible defensive liability in the OF that Kubel is. Upton has averaged almost 20 steals the last 4 seasons. He had a OPS of .899 and .898 is 2009 and 2011 respectively. Kubel did have a .907 OPS in 2009, but he hasn’t topped .833 in any other season. So apparently you’re the one that needs to look at the stats. I’m not saying that Kubel is a bad player by any means. I would be in favor of trading for him if they can’t get Upton.

  11. Upton had a bum wrist last year. That had more to do with having a down year than anything.

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