Lukewarm Stove: Ah, the Justin Upton Trade Rumors Are Coming Back

justin uptonDiamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been on the trade market for about three years now. He was the hot rumor of the day a couple months ago, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t seem to find the right deal, and the rumors have receded.

Well, they’re back. From Jon Heyman:

Has Arizona’s surprise signing of Cody Ross put Justin Upton back into play as a viable trade candidate?

Depends who you ask, but it appears a possible trade for Upton has become a reality again.

If the Diamondbacks thought they were strong in the outfield before they signed Ross to a $26-million, three year free-agent contract — and they did — they have to believe they are absolutely stacked in the outfield now.

They will surely be entertaining offers, and as one person familiar with their thinking put it, flat out, “Someone will go.”

That means either Upton, the wunderkind who spends a lot of time on the trading block, Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra is likely to be dealt. And since it’s not too likely that it’ll be Parra, who the D-Backs want to keep for his defense, Upton is now one of two prime candidates to be traded.

Arizona owner Ken Kendrick remains a big fan of Upton’s, as he suggested in this space a few weeks back. He is such a big fan sources suggest he’ll need to be convinced any potential Upton trade is is something they need to do.

On that last piece, by the way, there were indications in mid-2012 that Kendrick was the very person considering Upton’s ouster, so I’m not sure how much I buy that he’s “a big fan” and would need to be “convinced” about a trade. I think he’s probably already on board.

Setting aside the outfield trade market implications – an outfielder trade obviously affects the market for Alfonso Soriano, but I doubt too many teams view Upton and Soriano as overlapping options – the obvious talking point here is …

Are the Cubs even relevant to these rumors?

Well, on the one hand, the Cubs aren’t really in a position to be unloading prospects to pick up big league pieces in an effort to “win now.” They aren’t a Justin Upton away from being a legitimate threat to win 90 games.

On the other hand, Upton is just 25, and is under control for three more seasons. In that light, he’s certainly a fit for a team that increasingly looks to be pushing for a competitive core by 2014. And, Upton has enough upside that adding him to the mix could make 2013 a “stranger things have happened” kind of season. His production has been uneven, but no one doubts that he could explode at any moment (and, even in his “down” years, he’s still been a valuable player).

Those three years of control don’t come too cheaply, though – $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015. Less than he’d get on the open market, to be sure, but his real value to a trading team comes primarily in the form of his upside. If he becomes a superstar, you’d take him at almost any contract price, because there are a limited number of superstars in the game, and a limited number of spots on your roster.

Is the contract sufficiently high that his cost in trade might surprise us? That is to say, might he not offer enough surplus value to net a tip-top package of prospects? I suppose it’s possible. Indeed, it’s possible that the reason the Rangers and Diamondbacks couldn’t come to an agreement the first time Upton was on the market this Winter was because the Rangers were unwilling to deal their very best prospects.

But, on the face of things, it’s hard to see the Cubs managing to land Upton (assuming they aren’t on his no-trade list or that he’s willing to waive to come to the Cubs) short of a deal that includes top prospect Javier Baez. (Albert Almora and Jorge Soler are not eligible to be traded until a year after they signed, and teams are loathe to include big-time prospects as PTBNLs, because you’ve got to keep playing them in your own system (subject to injury risk) until they’re officially eligible to be traded.) Is a package of Baez and more a good deal for the Cubs? It could be, depending on the “more.” I’m not really one to start throwing up fantasy trade packages, because there are so many variables that it becomes a wild goose chase. But, suffice it to say, there are combinations of players the Cubs could deal to the Diamondbacks that might make sense for both sides.

In Upton, the Cubs would get a 25-year-old piece to add to a present-day core that could include Starlin Castro (23 in March), Anthony Rizzo (23), as well as Darwin Barney (27), Welington Castillo (25), and Brett Jackson (23), depending on how things go with those three in the near term. Assuming there aren’t deep-seeded issues with Upton that a change of scenery can’t resolve (he sure has been on the block a lot), maybe this is something the Cubs really should take a look at.

In the end, I think the Diamondbacks wind up keeping Upton, and deal Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra instead. But it’s a discussion.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

288 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Ah, the Justin Upton Trade Rumors Are Coming Back”

  1. MightyBear

    One thing I think Theo learned from Boston is a clubhouse makeup is very important in MLB. You have to have 25+ guys on the same page with the Manager, General Manager and the rest of management. Jedi Knight kept mentioning about a “good clubhouse” managed by Sveum despite losing 100+ games. I just don’t see Upton fitting in well to the Cubs clubhouse. Too many reports of being a prima donna. I just don’t see the fit for the Cubs and their goal of a good clubhouse.

    1. Rizzo44

      Yeah but when he hits .280 30+HR, and drives in 90+RBIs…. then I bet nobody would care about him being a “prima donna”

      1. MightyBear

        Yeah, they would.

      2. bloctoad

        Just Upton being Upton? The Manny thing doesn’t fly anymore.

    2. hansman1982

      bah…the 2003 Red Sox were loose and fun while eating fried chicken and drinking beer during the game

      the 2011 Red Sox were a bunch of loose cannons who were incredibly lazy while eating fried chicken and drinking beer during the game

      Clubhouse chemistry is something that is brought up when there is nothing else to talk about.

      1. MightyBear

        The players on the 2003 team were not the same as the 2011 team.

        1. hansman1982

          True, the main difference? The 2003 Red Sox won, the 2011 team did not. You could have had the same exact players and the media would have reacted the same.

          Once those players step on the field they are only concerned about 1 thing – succeeding.

        2. DocPeterWimsey

          Hansman has the right of it: the 2003 players were far worse-behaved than the 2011 players. Chemistry and attitude had nothing to do with the starting rotation getting obliterated in September. Being “on the same page” had nothing to do with anything: it was just a horrible unlucky confluence of events.

          1. MightyBear

            Then why did the 2012 which had the same players as 2011 implode? Bad luck and unlucky confluence of events?

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              None of the starters came back healthy last year. Remember, at the end of August 2011, the Sox had one of the better team ERAs in the AL at 3.87: and when you adjust for ballparks, that’s even better than it looks. They were putrid in September, giving up over 5.8 earned runs a game: it was so bad that they dragged the yearly pitching stats to league average. (If you start giving up 2 more runs a game all of a sudden, then you can expect to ahve something like the Sox’s 2011 September.)

              The pitching was nearly as bad in 2012, with a team ERA of 4.8. Add 0.9+ runs per game, and you’ve just lost 15 games right there.

              It’s not dissimilar to what we saw in 1986 with the Cubs; they had one of the best staffs in the first half of 1985, only to see all of the starters go down. It was two years before Sutcliffe came back, longer for Eckersley (who came back as a reliever), and Trout never came back. (Sanderson sort of did, but 3-4 yeras later.) As such, the 1986 starting pitching was awful, too.

    3. Spriggs

      I have always been a little puzzled over the bad rap Upton gets (for his attitude?). I’ve seen him play plenty, and I don’t understand the “loafing”, “not hustling” things I read. People who write that stuff are the same people who would never have had Manny Ramirez on their baseball team or Wilt Chamberlain on their basketball team. BTW… he is extremely nice around the fans, spends lots and lots of time giving autographs – especially to kids. I would love to have this supremely talented young man on the Cubs.

  2. Rizzo44

    I don’t know if wed deal Baez for Upton.. I thought we were going to trade Baez, Vogelbach package to TB for Price? Who knows, I’d rather have Upton than Price because I think Upton is better, and that we need hitting more than pitching. (DUH)

    1. MightyBear

      Are you getting me? You would rather have Upton than Price? No way. Pitching folks. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. How do you think the Giants won it last year? David Price is a much harder commodity to get or develop than Justin Upton and Upton’s a great player.

      1. MightyBear

        Not getting – kidding. Geeesh.

        1. Rizzo44

          The Cubs need offence!!!! I fell asleep 10+ times last year watching us (2 at the game!) When you put Upton in that 4 spot, Castro, DeJesus, Rizzo, Upton that is top 5 best 1-4 lineup…

          1. hansman1982

            Maybe you need to get more sleep at night?

          2. Joepoe123

            I think short term we badly need offense, but in 2-3 years once Baez and soler and almora get closer to the bigs if not in the bigs that we will need pitching

      2. DocPeterWimsey

        I gotta agree. I covet Upton: but I covet Price even more.

        1. MightyBear

          Thank you Doc. I couldn’t agree more.

      3. GoCubs

        Completely agree. Price is way more important than Upton. If the Cubs trade this offseason for Upton I don’t see them having the pieces to get Price when he becomes available.

        Ideally, Texas trades for Upton and depletes some of their farm system. As it stands right now if Texas waits and goes after Price they have a better package to offer the Rays for Price.

        1. Chris

          I don’t think we can pin all our hopes on being able to get Price “when” he becomes available. I made a tongue in cheek comment about waiting for Stanton, but the reality is you have to strike when the opportunity presents itself. There may be a dozen reasons why not to trade for Upton, but waiting on Price really isn’t in the top 100.

    2. Marcel91

      Rizzo44, you never cease to amaze me…..In what alternate universe is Upton better than David Price??? Even in straight baseball mechanics, A true ace #1 starter is numerically the most valuable asset in baseball….

      only about 5-10 teams in the league have a true ace and thats stretching it….power hitting right fielders are no where near as rare….Hell, Soler and Baez “project” to be just as good as Upton…what pitcher in our farm “projects” to be a true ace??? good luck with that…

      This team needs impact pitching not offense….have you even paid attention to the last 3 world series? The giants won 2 out of 3, and they did it with pitching, not offense. They struggle to get 25 homers out of anybody….please dont say such things.

      1. baldtaxguy

        Yes, a stud ace is of greatest value.

  3. josh

    I just want him to be traded somewhere already! Hey justin, “your on the trading block, ok your off the trading block….. Actually your back on the trading block!” Hopefully hes just traded soon!

    1. baldtaxguy

      I’m not sure why this would matter. If he is ultimately not traded….meh, who cares?

  4. Fakko

    Those Red Sox teams had probably the worst prima donna, Manny. Talk about being full of yourself but, boy, could he hit the ball.

  5. cubsin

    I’m opposed to trading for Upton, Price or any other player who’s close to free agency without a longer-term extension. The Cubs appear to be building for 2015, and those guys would be on their way out the door otherwise. Texas should be desperate to add Upton to replace their free agency losses and to stay competitive with the Angels, and has a stronger farm system. I want no part of the Cubs bidding against them.

    1. Marc N.

      The earliest either of those guys are FAs is after 2015.

  6. Rizzo44

    I think Texas should give us Olt, Profar, and Perez for Soriano… Lololol… But really, I would be nice for the Cubs to land Upton… for the right price. Pretty sure Texas is more focused on Stanton…

  7. Timmy

    Good piece — Upton would be great for the team but it seems unlikely that we’d land him except for Castro.

  8. FastBall

    I don’t think Upton will be traded. I think Kubel is the guy they trade. We could certainly land him for much less. Kubel is a very good OF’er and would work nicely in RF. He hits for some power and has a hose on him so no problem playing RF. I would trade Vogelbach and some other minor league talent like Watkins, McNutt and real him in. Then next year we can go after Price. We need to get some pitching and an outfielder or two ready to go in Double A if we want to put a Price deal together. I doubt seriously we can do enough to get Price though. If I’m Friedman I would ask for the motherload which he will. He will get it for Price.

    1. MichCubFan

      Kubel is not a good fielding outfielder.

      1. dudeski

        yeah he’s one of the worst

  9. nkniacc13

    Brett or uke, Do you think the Cubs will go hard after either of the 2 Cubans that have their show day on Jan 5? Do you see either getting a 40 man spot or could start the yer in the majors?

    1. MightyBear

      Thanks nk. I was wondering about that myself. Also, do they fall under the international cap? Do the Cubs have any international money left? Does anybody? All questions I seek help with.Thank you in advance.

      1. Adventurecizin' Justin

        MightyBear…I think that their age excludes them from the international pool. So, teams can offer what they want, I believe.

      2. nkniacc13

        I do know that afte the 8th of jan neither of the 2 cubans will be subject to the international signing rules.

  10. AD

    The Cubs lost over 100 games last year so obviously they need both hitting and pitching. However, most of our top prospects are hitters: Baez, Alomar, Soler, etc., where as we have little pitching. While I would love to get a talent like Upton, I think hitters are easier to develop that pitchers so I would rather have Price. Remember that most prospects never pan out and are more valuable as trade bait.

    1. Marcel91

      Thank you, agreed, go after impact pitching before hitting….Giants have shown great pitching /respectable O can win championships

  11. Alec

    Id rather go for Stanton and/or Price. If a 25 year old potiental superstar is on the trading block when a team is going all in, there has to be something we don’t know like lack of character or conditioning or something like that.

  12. Patrick G

    Hate throwing up fantasy proposals, but I believe a package of Baez, Vogelbach and one or 2 of our middle infield prospects could net Upton. Although I would hate to trade Baez, he is still far away from the Majors and Upton is a proven player in the bigs, with Baez we don’t know what he will come to be. We have the number 2 pick anyways and a lot of Theo’s picks last years draft were solid picks, so this trade wouldn’t necessarily kill our farm system. In the future with Castro, Rizzo, Soler, Almora, Upton and a signing of a free agent or 2, they could be highly competitive. Possibly add Barney in the deal and sign Cano next year? Add a FA 3B next year to take Baez place? I think it would be a good trade for both sides

    1. Andrew

      This is one of the more plausible trades to me. You have to give up impact talent to get impact talent and in the cubs system, that means baez. If there is somewhere the cubs are lacking besides pitching, it is in power hitting athletic outfielders. Almora and Soler make a good start to an outfield (assuming they develop of course), but Upton would put it over the top.

  13. Ramy16

    First of all would rather take Parra, second why haven’t we sign Jair Jurggens? We sign a subpar Japanese pitcher with a plus 5 era? Doesnt make sense to me

    1. nkniacc13

      well we signed the japanese pitcher because 1. He’s LH, 2 he’s a RP 3 he’s on a minor league deal.

    2. Kyle

      Jair Jurggens’ statistical record suggests a very bad pitcher who was very lucky to put up a decent ERA once.

      The Japanese lefty’s statistics suggest a decent pitcher who was unlucky to have such a bad ERA.

    3. Marcel91

      Why would you want jurrjens and his 35mph fastball?

  14. Kevin

    I don’t see the cubs chasing Upton and compromising the farm system. I don’t see it this season or next, the FO has a plan and doubt anything could possibly derail their focus.

    1. blublud

      I see a front office who is willing spend and win now while trying to sustain the winning. I see a front office who is willing to look at and make any deal that adds surplus value to the Cubs. Castro, Shark, Rizzo, Baez and anybody else in the organization wouldn’t qaulify as an untouchable player. If the Cubs felt they could trade Baez for suplus value, they would pull the trigger.

  15. The Dude Abides

    I don’t see anything tying Upton to the Cubs, is there a source connecting the Cubs to Upton? Seems rather farfetched…

    1. Marcel91

      Cubs fans are usually the sources on any Justin Upton trade talk….I don’t even know why it’s talked about so much when nothing has been said on it.

  16. Kyle

    I like Upton. Power is rare in the big leagues right now, and 25 is a great age to be picking up a hitter with his skill set.

    But I just don’t see a fit here. Corner outfield is not a hugely pressing need for us right now the way some other positions are, and the Diamondbacks are going to want a team to pay for the name/reputation and hope that the performance catches up to it more consistently.

    Also, if I were Kevin Towers, I’d be very annoyed if I had to check with my owner before all these trades.

    1. Chris

      I disagree slightly. While corner OF is not the biggest problem, a young power bat to add to the core would be a perfect fit. It’s too bad he doesn’t play 3B, but for the right package, I’d love to see him in RF. I’m just not sure what the right package is. I do anticipate that the DBacks are going to want something of high value, given the name Upton, but it might be more than his recent production is worth. If there was a way to exclude Baez from any conversations, the Cubs would have to jump on it. And for the right combination, Baez would be expendable too. Or, do we wait until Stanton becomes available in Miami and save Baez for him? It might not be this year, but I have to imagine that Stanton will get his wish and escape FL at some point, once he becomes too expensive or is on the verge of free agency.

  17. Mr. Ashley Chavez

    Man, Upton and Price on the Cubs? Oh. Em. Gee!

  18. T Wags

    The only way I see us included in an Upton deal is in a 3 team deal that sends Upton to Texas and lands us Olt. I know people laugh at a lot of “armchair GM” trades but I think they’re fun to waste time thinking about. Maybe something like this works for everyone.

    Texas gets Upton +
    Cubs get Olt, Skaggs, Adam Eaton +
    Arizona gets Samardzjia, Baez +++

    Obviously there would have to be some odds and ends added to make everyone happy but i think it makes sense for all teams in what they’re currently trying to do and i think it pushes up our competitive window considerably. I would hate to lose Samardzjia because i heart him, but to replace him with a lefty (which the FO has said works better at Wrigley) could put us in a better position to compete for a longer period of time. But, of course, this is all extremely unlikely but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to here rumors about these 3 teams trying to work out a blockbuster because to me it just makes a lot of sense for everyone.

    1. Patrick G

      No chance give Samardzjia and baez for that package. Giving up way too much

      1. Marcel91

        Agree, we lose a potential super star in Baez, and a potential frontline horse in Samardzija for guys we’d hope would be even half as good as them? Doesn’t make sense.

    2. blublud

      You have to be kidding Right. You do realize the Cubs are trading away probably long term the 2 best players in that trade and aren’t getting anything back. If we are going to include Shark and Baez in the same deal, we will be(and I don’t mean better be, I mean we will be) recieving David Price, Clayton Kershaw or Justin Verlander.

  19. mudge

    I don’t think FO will go for Upton or Bourn. Likelier Parra or Crisp. People forget that DeJesus was recovering from an injury to his right thumb when the Cubs traded for him. His power numbers were up significantly after the all-star break. Ian Stewart will be lucky to find a power groove before July, if he does at all in 2013.

    1. T Wags

      The Cubs didn’t trade for DeJesus, he was signed to a 2 year FA deal.

      1. mudge

        right.

  20. Adam

    The Diamondbacks make strange moves occasionally. I wonder if Parra could be had on relatively reasonable terms?

  21. Xavier

    Matt Garza, Junior Lake, Dillon Maples, Matt Sczur,and Trey Mcnutt
    For Upton and Cahill

    1. Chris

      If AZ would take that package you have me sold. I don’t think they would though. Garza aside, I don’t think they would have any interest in the rest of that bunch.

    2. Marcel91

      lol where do you guys get this stuff?

      Arizona gave up a ton of top prospects(including Jarrod Parker no less) just to get Cahill last year. Why the hell would they trade him a year later(+ Upton) for that suspect bunch?

      come on guys, If your going to add substance to the crazy trade proposals on this site, at least try a little…..

  22. someday...2015?

    My guess is Upton could be had for a package of say, Baez, Vogelbach, Panigua, and Alcantara.(probably more.) That’s a lot to give up, but for a 25 year old power hitter I wouldn’t mind giving up that much. With the position the Cubs are in for next years draft a trade like this wouldn’t necessarily deplete the farm system, and at the same time give the Cubs a very formidable 1-4 or maybe 5.(If Soriano doesnt get traded.)

    All that being said I would much rather see the Cubs wait it out and pay a bit more to get a legit superstar in Stanton or a #1 ace pitcher in Price.

  23. Me

    I would love the Cubs to get either Parra or Upton but it must not include Baez. Unfortunatly they is the only way the Cubs can get Upton and not include Castro, Shark, or Rizzo.

  24. Marcel91

    I wonder what people who want Upton so bad will say when he hits .280 with 17hr again next year….the fans and media here will eat him alive and there’s no statistical indication he will improve on that, He wasn’t injured or unlucky…

    You guys are banking too much on Upton returning to his MVP form and theres no guarantee that he will. His personality is terrible, and while some that won’t matter, in a large market with a tough media and passionate fans it will matter.

    1. Andrew

      There is a good amount of evidence that he can go back to his 2011 form. First of all, he will be 25, players usually are better the closer they are to ages 28-32 seasons. Second of all his HR/FB ratio was down to 8.2% as opposed to a career 10.9%, suggesting plenty of bad luck flyball wise. his k/bb ratio went down, and has been trending downward.

  25. DocPeterWimsey

    “You guys are banking too much on Upton returning to his MVP form and theres no guarantee that he will.”

    There is zero guarantee that any player will play the way he did in the past. So, why bother mentioning it? However, there certainly is good statistical reason to think that he’ll do better: one, regression to the expectation (i.e., stats 101) and, two, players his age still tend to improve their power numbers.

    As for Upton’s personality being bad, there is almost zero relationship between how the media portrays a player and what his teammates think of him: many “clubhouse cancers” are popular players and many “team leaders” are despised. It’s pretty obvious that the AZ crowd considers anybody with an actual personality to have a bad one, so I put negative stock in these claims.

    Playing in Wrigley (with much higher humidity), Upton’s HR:FB ratio will almost certainly be back to normal (and, no, humid air is NOT heavier than dry air: it just feels that way to warm-blooded animals that sweat).

    1. Marcel91

      good, valid points, Doc.

    2. MightyBear

      Whoa Doc. Humid air is not heavier than dry air but dry air is more dense than humid air because of the moisture. Less dense air means the ball travels farther. Is that what you’re saying? Are we on the same page?

  26. Rich H

    I have been looking at Mike Olt a lot lately. Doing some much needed research into a player that everyone seems to be going nuts over. I have seen all kinds of projects for him and what he could become. I really think this kid has become the white unicorn of baseball prospects.

    His numbers in AA were impressive (288/398/529) but he kind of laid an egg in his big league debut after skipping AAA. His K rates is HUGE even for AA at right around 25% (101k’s in 421 PA’s). I am not even talking about his numbers in the majors because they are almost Vitters bad in only about 40 PA’s. You add that with the article in Fangraph the other day that basically says he needs to be traded because his upside is not league average anywhere but 3rd because of his plus defense and you get one very hyped prospect that you take away the buzz and you question if it is not another Kevin Orie.

    ZiPS did their projection for the Texas Rangers that is on Fangraphs now and he is rated at a 2.4 WAR and being comparable to Mark Reynolds. WHAT! Some people think we should trade Garza for this guy? HUH? Am I missing something? I don’t want to go into projected numbers because starting the year at AAA could change everything but this guy has too many questions about him to even consider trading a front line starter for without a lot of boot.

    1. Marcel91

      Cubs fans, and most fans in general, get obsessed with certain names just because they have heard it a million times, I’ll bet most cubs fans who want Olt so bad have never even seen him play. They just see their peers bringing him up constantly and join in. Do some actual research and you find things like you just did.

    2. blublud

      I have been one of those people who said trade Garza for him. I have also been one of the people who said that recieving only Olt for Garza WILL NOT get a deal done. It will definitely cost the Rangers more then just Olt. I like Olt’s defense and his upside offensively. But the guy is definitely no super star. I think he will be a better then average third baseman, however. he also can serve as part of the young core for the future, along with Shark, Castro, Rizzo and co.

      1. Rich H

        The one thing I have saw about Olt that I like is that his AA manager was Steve Buechele. A very underrated defense first type 3 bagger. Always in position to make a play even when his body was making it almost impossible for him to play there anymore. So if he learned any tricks of the position from him the Olt will be a fine defensive 3rd baseman.

    3. Spriggs

      Something that does get overlooked a little when talking about Olt’s statistics, is the huge breakout he had in the Fall League in 2011. This really got the Olt hype going. And yes, it’s an offensive league, but in his 120 or so plate apprearances, he literally tore the league up. Those aren’t reflected in any of his minor league stats, but he was VERY, VERY impressive.

  27. blublud

    I would not trade Vogelbach for Upton. I also would not trade Baez for Upton, but I would do it for Baez before Vogelbach. I want Upton. If we can put a package together that doesn’t include Baez or Vogelbach, then do it. If we can put a package together for Baez and a mid prospect or 2, I say do it.

    I honestly think Vogelbach is our best prospect. He is good enough to keep until he gets closer to the show, and if he is as good as I think he is, I would consider trading Rizzo first. This coming from a guy who loves Rizzo. I think Rizzo can be a Very good player and a border line star. I think Vogelbach can be a Super Star with the bat, and most scouts say he is good enough in the field to play first base. If we had to rank prespects from a tool standpoint, I say Baez is number 1. If we had to rank them by who I think will have the most success in the Show, I would rank Vogelbach #1 in the whole organization. he just reminds me of a triple crown threat type of player. 320/40+ HR/ 100+ RBI potential.

  28. Don

    I wouldn’t trade Baez for Upton. Baez will end up being a better player. The only way Cubs should trade Baez is if Stanton is traded for Baez plus.

  29. nkniacc13

    See I would trade Vogelbach before Baez, Soler, Almora simply because I think he is a bat guy and that tool is great and will allow him to likely climb the ladder toward the majors but I think Id rather have Rizzo’s defense and numbers over Vogelbach’s numbers and ? defense. Im just kinda happy thats not a decison they got to make right now.

    1. blublud

      Rizzo is very good defensively and may win a couple Gold Gloves. However, I haven’t read anywhere that Vogelbach is a bad defender. He probably won’t ever win a gold glove, but he can play the position. Also, this guy will never hit less then 30 HR in any season not effected by health, and will hit close to 40 or more most seasons, and 50 probably a couple season. I’m almost willing to guarantee it. If he hits anywhere close to .270, I’ll take his production over Rizzo’s. However, I don’t think thats an issue, as I think he will hit close to .300 at the minimum. I see Prince fielder in Vogelbach. And like Prince, most say he actually moves pretty good for his size. High HR rate, Low SO Rate vs other big time sluggers, High Walk Rate, Patient hitter, High OBP. All those are sign of a great hitter. Not just good, but great. I think we got a steal, and a hell of a value pick in him Look for Vogelbach to surpase all of our top prospects in ranking as they move up the system.

      PLUS: Remember you heard it here first.

      1. Spriggs

        I can tell that from what I have seen of Vogey in Extended Spring training games, AZ Rookie Leagues, and Instructional League – all here in Mesa — he is not a good defender right now. At all. No range, doesn’t have good hands in my opinion. Love his effort and work ethic, so who knows if he can become a passable fielder for an MLB team at some point. He’s got a lot of work to do though. DH

      2. Rich H

        You just compared a guy that has never played above low A ball to Frank Thomas you realize that right? Lets slow our role on the big fella. I like him too but liking a hitter in the low minors and comparing him to guys that are elite at their position because they have similar body types is not a good idea. It is like all these comparisons between Baez and Sheffield. Lets just slow down a little bit on making those kinds of leaps.

        That being said Rizzo is a plus defender at first and our best bat if he can maintain what he has shown. His progress could put him at the .380/.550 plateau in a season or 2. That is a 5 WAR player so keep that in mind before you replace him with Volgelbach.

        1. Blublud

          I do understand this is all projections. As far as we know, Baez or Vogelbach may never see the majors. Im going by what I think, and the more I read on Vogelbach, and the few highlights I’ve seen makes me believe he is a Super Star in the Making. I really wouldn’t be surprise to look back in 15 yrs and see that he’s in his 13th season and sitting on close to 500 HR.

  30. Turn Two

    This entire conversation will be one of those things brett posts in ten years and it will be laughed at.90% of the guys mentioned will never amount to anything the rest will be decent but not spectacular major leaguers, maybe one or two an all star. Its a collection of blind projections based on scouting reports.

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