justin uptonIn a would-be move that could have dramatically shifted the offseason landscape, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners agreed to a deal that would have sent 25-year-old outfielder Justin Upton to the Mariners, according to Ken Rosenthal.

But Upton, who has the right to block a trade to four teams (which he’s already designated), blocked the trade. Apparently the Mariners are one of the four teams on his list, and apparently he wasn’t keen on going there. There aren’t any details yet on just what Arizona would have received in return, nor are there details on the other three teams on Upton’s list.

Obviously the deal indicates what we’ve suspected all along: the Diamondbacks, for whatever reason, would like to trade Upton for a package of young talent right now. Rosenthal mentions that the Braves and the Rangers are also interested in Upton, and, given that there’s already been a trade agreed upon involving Upton, it seems likely that he’ll be dealt this offseason.

The implications for the Cubs here depend largely on whether they are interested in Upton (which I’ve previously discussed here), and whether they are interested in Michael Bourn (which I’ve previously discussed here, among other places). Obviously, if they are in on Upton, they’ll be continuing those discussions now that he isn’t going to the Mariners. If they’re in on Bourn, as the tea leaves suggest they are, at least at the periphery, the fact that the Mariners failed to acquire Upton could leave them with few options besides trying to sign Bourn.

The broader implications are tougher to nail down, because it depends on where Upton goes, what the D-backs get in return, and which teams/players are also talking to the team to which Upton goes. A big move like Upton is the kind that can have significant ripple effects, which could obviously touch a team like the Cubs – a team always interested in picking up assets, and with some pieces to trade.

I should add that this does not mean a D-backs/Mariners deal for Upton could never be consummated – Upton could simply be looking for a financial enticement to waive his no-trade clause, and this could simply be the first step in that process.

UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick has the other three teams on Upton’s list: the Blue Jays, the Red Sox and … the Cubs. That’s the second year in a row that the Cubs are on Upton’s no-trade list, which I take as a sign that his agent figured the Cubs would be very interested in trading for him (which makes sense, given their usual MO of targeting guys like Upton). Does this mean a trade with the Cubs could never happen? No. It just means that they’d have to offer up a financial enticement – likely an extension – in order to get him to waive his no-trade clause.

  • Seth

    Wow. I’d hate to be a Mariners fan right about now.

  • Rizzo44

    What are the 4 teams on his block list?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      We don’t know yet.

      • Rizzo44

        I hope the Cubs arent on that list.. I really want Upton…

        • Bigg J

          I would love Upton as well, but think about how much talent we would have to give up for him. It would wipe the Cubs system clean again. If we were to send prospects out, I would rather grab Price

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            If you think Upton is too expensive to trade for, fine.

            But you don’t pass on a trade you think can improve your organization because you think maybe another player might be available a year from now.

        • http://punshouse.com Nate Corbitt

          Unless you’re planning on giving up SIGNIFICANT minor league pieces (i.e. one or two of the Big Three) as well as Shark, you can forget it.

          • Rizzo44

            Shark, Lake, Vogelbach, and Whitenack or Maples?

  • Bigg J

    I wouldn’t want to go to Seattle either. I am suprised Felix still wants to be there. It is like Ichiro when he didn’t get out when he had the chance, but once he did he loved going to a team with a winning mentality. Why would you want to leave the D-Backs when they are a NL West contender every year to go to a team that is last in the AL West every year and it will continue as Angels have great players, Texas is not far behind them, A’s are emerging, and now you compete for last place with the new Astros and you wont even be the face of the franchise!

  • fromthemitten

    and here come the crackpot trade ideas on the message boards….

    • Seth

      Josh Vitters, Shawn Camp and Brent Lillibridge. 😛

      • Rizzo44

        Darnell McDonald and Brent Lillibridge. 😉

        • frank

          Throw in Carmen Fanzone–wait, wrong era . . .

          • fromthemitten

            damn too bad we didn’t hold onto Joe Mather

  • Alex

    Mariners & blue jays. He’s looking to go to atl to play with B.J. though

  • Hawkeye

    How often can Upton update/change his list?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s usually once per season, and it varies on when you have to submit the list. But that’s his list for his season, since it’s slightly different from last year’s list. Probably submitted it pretty recently.

      • Hawkeye

        Interesting. Thanks for the insight. Wonder how he decides who is on the list? Just who is most likely to be interested so he can control his own destiny or would he select those with deepest pockets so he could require entension?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Probably a combination of both.

  • Fastball

    I think Justin would prefer Atlanta. He could also end up in Philly which is also close to Va Beach where he is from. I wouldn’t want to live in Philly I hate that city. I go out of my way to avoid business trips to that place. Don’t see him wanting to be in Chicago. I think if he could go to Atlanta he would leave in a heartbeat.

  • Rizzo44

    Red Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Cubs. Well, lets get that trade done, then an extension!! Hopefully…

  • ferrets_bueller

    Smart guy- pick the two places you don’t want to play (Seattle and Canada) and the two teams most likely to trade for you and give you an extension- Cubs and Bosox.

    • Gcheezpuff

      Or all 4 teams were bad when the list was created and he didnt want to play on a bad team. Everyone knows the Cubs and Red Sox are rebuilding right now and the list was probably created before the blue jays made their big moves (and the whole Canada thing)… Seattle is a nice place to visit and all, but not exactly the place baseball players ever flock to… And there is the whole bad baseball team thing there too. Can’t blame him.

  • http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120425/BLOGS02/120429892/heres-the-financial-deal-cubs-want-to-rebuild-wrigley Crazyhorse

    OR…… he simply do not want to play for the Cubs. but if he could be persuaded to sign with the Cubs with gifts and money . What would it take ? and would it be worth the trade?
    I doubt the Arizona would give him away so it would have to be a good package the Cubs are offering and i do not see it happening. The one thing i do have confidence is the drafting capability of this front office and i would be hesitate to move any player the Cubs signed through last year draft and or Soler .

  • Patrick G

    Just read from Heyman that it would have included 1 of the 3 top pitching prospects along with 2 more top 10 prospects and Charlie Furbush. Kind of surprising it wouldn’t take more than that, but if you look at the Cubs prospects, I think Baez, Szcur, Lake, McNutt could get it done. I guess it depends on their needs, but it wouldn’t be entirely emptying the farm system.

  • Casey Stengel

    I see no reason to gut a system you have spent (well, not us personally) to get Upton. Is he a good player? Yes. He doesn’t want to be here and while he has the proverbial upside we talk about, I just don’t see him a savior for this team. Better to keep gathering assets. This team needs hitting too, but at what cost. Shouldn’t some of those assests be used for pitching?

    Look If they want guys like Junior lake cool. They don’t. I’ll keep Soler and the others and take flameout risk over Upton

    Maybe I’m an idiot.

  • Timmy

    Or maybe he smartly just doesn’t want to play in last place for the remainder of his current contract.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Doubt it’s that. Would be a waste of one of his four teams. Plenty of crappy teams out there – but only so many who are likely to trade for you and from whom you could extract a lucrative extension.

      • Timmy

        I think you sold me on this point.

  • Bigg J

    I thought I heard something saying the Cubs werre on the list, but couldn’t remember. If you are going to throw a major package for Upton then why wouldn’t you offer him a mega deal?

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    I’d rather have Bourn.
    If Uppie doesn’t like Chicago, then I don’t like him either.
    We are the best fans in the world, screw him.
    BTW, Seattle is a really beautiful and nice place, and they have almost everything there that they have in NY, that is why Junior and Ichiro and King Felix et al like and/or liked it there.

    • Richard Nose

      Is Mike Quade on BN now?!?!?!?

    • JBarnes

      It more than likely has nothing to do with him liking Chicago or not like Brett and others have stated. Its a way to get more money out of the team. I cant remember if it was him or not but someone recently had quite a few of the major market teams on a no trade list. I cant remember the player or all the teams so maybe this was pointless to bring up but still, theres multiple reasons for players having NTC’s.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I don’t see an Upton trade gutting the farm system at all.

    Soler and Almora can’t be moved until mid-summer. The could be PTBNL’d, but I doubt Arizona would go for that.

    Baez is an option, but that is only one of the Cubs’ top three. So let’s put him in the deal.

    Jackson could go in. I know Cubs fans are generally ready to give up on him, but not all scouts are. And Arizona could easily let him sit a year in Triple A further refining his swing. He’s still a fringe Top 100 guy, even with the K issues. So let’s add him.

    I’m not sure the Cubs could get a third Top 100 prospect in without giving up Vizcaino, and that is unlikely (if AZ was willing to take on the risk). I could, however, see AZ being interested in a high ceiling bullpen arm that could help right away (since they aren’t exactly in blow-up-the-team mode). Rafael Dolis is one option. Alberto Cabrera is another. Tony Zych is another. We’ll take the one with the most major league experience, and toss Dolis in the deal.

    That gives Arizona a potential setup man / closer for the not too distant future, a high-ceiling offensive threat shortstop prospect for the mid-future, and a good outfield prospect for the near future. That’s not a bad package.

    So let’s finish it off by adding one of the Cubs very young, high ceiling pitching prospects. Dillon Maples fits that description.

    Now, after that deal, what would the Cubs have left? A very deep farm system with several prospects with very high ceilings.

    There is no one trade that the Cubs could realistically make that would gut the farm system. The system is just too deep in terms of position players to be gutted that easily. Trading prospects does not automatically mean giving up on a rebuild or dumping the entirety of the organization. The Cubs are deep. The Cubs are very deep. If they find a match with a team, they could deal from that depth and still emerge a very deep organization.

    • Rizzo44

      I like that idea alot… Then all we would need is for Upton to say yes to the deal, then we give him a 7 year, 77MIL extension… I really want Upton, he would look awesome in that Cubs uni..,

    • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

      I would give up Baez, Jackson, Dolis, and Maples for Andrew McCutchen-not Upton.

      Baez is the would-be hitter, Jackson is the would-be power and McCutchen is the combination of both. Justin Upton is just a power guy.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Jackson would be power? We have no hope…..

    • Good Captain

      How man year extension would you require Luke?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I’d be content with a four year extension, to start with at least.

    • JBarnes

      Cant agree with this. I dont see the point in trading a middle infielder (Baez) who projects to play above average defense, hit for average and hit for power for a RF when we have Soler in the system. A hypothetical outfield of Upton/Soler/Almora is fun to think about but I would rather have the guy whos looking more and more capable of sticking at SS and at worst has to play 3B. I think it’s safe to say that Upton is a pretty fair comparison to what scouts say Soler will be…Soler may even have slightly more power. Why give up valuable prospects when you already seem to have that guy in your system…and Im aware Upton is more proven and Soler is still a prospect. Id rather have the stud RF and IF than having two stud corner OF’s. Just my opinion…

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        You are equating Justin Upton, major leaguer, to Jorge Soler, 88 PA above rookie ball.

      • Spriggs

        When I first saw Solar in Mesa this past summer, I was racking my brains trying to think who he reminded me of – when it dawned on me that it was Upton.

    • King Jeff

      I think this is a reach, mostly because I think that Arizona wants guys that are going to be able to contribute this year or next. In the Seattle deal, they would have gotten 4 young players, all of them ready or nearly ready, the Cubs simply can’t match that kind of offer, especially if the D-Backs want arms in return.

  • mjhurdle

    I really hope that the Cubs do not end up sending a ton of prospects to Arizona for the opportunity to pay Upton a ton of money over the next 7 years.
    Im just not sold on Upton’s consistency. If you give up Baez, Lake, McNutt +; are you going to get back the 4+ WAR, .530 SLG, 900 OPS Upton or the 1.5 WAR, .440, .790 Upton?
    Add to that the fact that the Diamondbacks are not nearly as far away from competing as the Cubs are, yet they are willing to send off a “franchise-type” player for prospects?
    The player and circumstances do not make me eager to break the bank to bring him here.

  • calicubsfan007

    Still don’t want Upton, even if we weren’t on the list

  • Kygavin

    i think it would take more than $11 mil/year to get Upton to sign an extension but i love the idea or dealing for and extending him. Too much potential to not go for it in my opinion. Remember two years ago when he was 100% healthy he finished 4th in NL MVP voting… would anyone say no to a deal that would bring him to Chicago at this time last year?

  • Demarrer

    I just don’t think Upton is that good. His road splits scare me.

  • Jason

    I’d rather dump the farm for Stanton.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      So would everyone.

      • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

        I would like to see what we can get in return for Schierholtz, DeJesus, Soriano, Stewart, Baker, Feldman, and Villanueva early, before the trade deadline. Maybe we wouldn’t have to dump “our” farm for Stanton. 😉

        If I’m a major league club, I’m walking Stanton every at bat. You’re not going to let him beat you. I don’t care if the bases are loaded (unless it’s like bottom of the 9th, tie score-obviously). He’ll want a trade after a month.

        • JBarnes

          I hope you arent implying we could trade those guys for Stanton…and if you are, hopefully its meant as a joke.

          • King Jeff

            No, Mike has an extreme love of Cubs prospects. I think he “slightly” overvalues them.

  • Marcel91

    Looking at the package Seattle was about to send no way should the cubs pay that much for him. Did you guys see that package? Upton might have just saved Seattle GM’s job. Didnt want him before, really don’t now.

  • Internet Random

    That’s the second year in a row that the Cubs are on Upton’s no-trade list, which I take as a sign that his agent figured the Cubs would be very interested in trading for him . . . .

    Brett is smart.

    (I bet he smells good too.)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Old Spice. Pure Sport.

  • Kygavin

    Comparing the package SEA sent and what the Cubs could offer doesnt really work since the Cubs dont have close to the arms SEA has, but SEA only gave up 2 top 10 specs and 2 RP. Granted the Cubs would probably have to give up more since they lack the SP prospects but its still worth a shot

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Depends on if Arizona is insisting on a high ceiling starting pitching prospect. If they are, the Cubs have no shot.

      If Ariziona is looking for near-ready very high ceiling prospects, the Cubs have no shot.

      If Arizona is willing to take a very high ceiling, lower minors position prospect (like Baez), then a deal is in range.

      The Stanton question has the same answer. If Miami’s wants match up with the Cubs’ depth, a deal is absolutely possible.

      • Kygavin

        From what i have heard Staton is 99.99% untouchable and i doubt the Cubs even have a deal that would interest MIA.

        But I completely agree with what you said about lack of SP. If thats a need they have no shot, but high-ceiling, close to the majors guys the Cubs do have Jackson. I’m not a fan of him but he has 20-20 upside with average to above-average if he fixes the K. He has a high ceiling but a very very low floor to go with that and would necessarily be the cornerstone of any deal I dont think

        • Kygavin

          average to above average D….. and not necessarily the cornerstone i mean…. be good if i could type

    • Marcel91

      I dont believe it is. And apparently neither does texas since its just been reported that they’re “moving on” after making a final offer of Olt, Holland, + which was rejected and rejecting Arizona’s final offer. Texas’ farm blows us out of the water and easily could make this trade so if they think the “price is too steep” then we should stay far away.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Seattle’s offer did not look exorbitantly high to me. I strongly suspect the negotiations with Texas fell apart not because the price was to high, but because the price did not fit. For example, if Arizona is insisting on pitching and Texas is refusing to deal pitching, then the AZ demand for pitching would be too high a price for Texas – it is something they are unwilling to do.

        But that is not the same thing as AZ’s demands in terms of prospect value being too high for Texas.

        And as a result, it does not automatically follow that the Cubs should passively let Texas steer their off season actions. A price Texas is not willing to could easily be a price the Cubs are willing to pay simply because they are two different teams with different needs in different situations with a different assortment of players available for potential trades.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          To clarify a bit, Seattle was overpaying, I think, but not by a tremendous amount. I think AZ would probably be happy with a somewhat lesser package than what Seattle ultimately offered.

          • CubFan Paul

            Seattle was definitely overpaying, because Arizona can’t afford Upton anymore. Montero’s $12M a year coincidentally kicks in this year also and we’ve heard nothing of Arizona raising payroll.

            This deal should be viewed as a cash dump, but for a very nice piece.

        • Marcel91

          Even with that. Arizona clearly wants high end young pitching or A ML ready impact shortstop. Neither of which make us a fit. Texas refused Arizona’s stubborn requests of Andrus and Profar. Arizona refused a package that featured not only Olt but a high-end young pitcher in Derek Holland + others. Arizona is persistent in what they want for Upton and if thats the level of package it would take then I dont think its worth it.

          • Marcel91

            Meant Andrus OR Profar. Don’t wanna get flamed for saying that lol

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            If Arizona really is still insisting on a young, impact shortstop, then the Bauer trade makes even less sense than it made at the time, and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense at the time.

            Given the price AZ paid to get Gregorius, I have to think they view him as the clear shortstop of the future. Dealing a piece like Bauer for anything less would have been ridiculous.

            I flatly don’t agree with that assessment of Gregorius; that’s why I don’t really get the Bauer trade for the Diamondbacks.

            • Chris

              I think Az will ask for the best young players they can, regardless of position. Just like the Rangers are willing to keep 2 good shortstops rather than move one of them for Upton. Given that, I would expect the D-Backs to ask for Castro or Baez as part of any package. That’s where the Cubs should politely decline. I think it makes sense to give up any prospect they have to chase Stanton, but Upton is not the same player as Stanton. I’d love to have him, but I wouldn’t be willing to gut the system for him.

  • Gcheezpuff

    Even if the Cubs inclusion is about leverage instead of about being bad at baseball…I think you still pass if the price is at what is rumored. I’d rather see where the farm is next year and save the pieces to make a run at Price or Stanton if either is made available. My money is still on the Rangers going after Olt in ST if he is healthy and netting the Cubs Olt and an Arm.

  • http://bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Per MLB Traderumors.com…Texas is out on Justin Upton

  • JB88

    Upton scares the shit out of me. He might be a huge addition but there is something about him that makes me think he could be a bust. He’s got the MLB equivalent of crazy eyes …

    • DocPeterWimsey

      That’s just inane nonsense. There is no such thing as “crazy eyes,” period, and thus no MLB equivalent to them. Barring injury, Upton is going to be a high OPS player for years to come.

      • DarthHater

        says the robot with crazy eyes . . .

        • DocPeterWimsey

          That’s just typical human stereotyping. Just because someone’s design specifications call for a little glow in the eyes, you just jump to “he’s thinking ‘kill all the humans (and other advanced primates)'”.


  • Cerambam

    I know this is a big “what if”but, if the cubs get Justin upton does anyone think that may make them more likely to get bourn? I’m not sure if it does considering more teams will go after bourn if upton is completely off the board as well as the fact that the Cubs will have to commit extension money to upton. HOWEVA, with upton, the cubs would have Castro upton and Rizzo as legitimate offensive threats. Thus, the addition of Bourn may move up our rebuild ending date to 2013. Our relative rotational depth, coupled with left over starters entering the bullpen, plus offense from Rizzo Castro Bourn upton and soriano plus defense of Barney and Bourn is not too shabby. I think the addition of upton may force the cubs hand a little in obtaining some more help. Although, if I was responding to this post I guess I’d say all these people besides soriano and Bourn are super young so no rush. Now I’m just thinking out loud

    • Marcel91

      You lose alot of future flexibility if you get Bourn and Upton. If one or both of them regress or underachieve like people around the league believe they will your outfield is once again clogged with overpaid players. Just dont think thats the way to go again. Bourn is one leg injury away from being a fourth outfielder and like others have said Upton’s home/road splits are scary.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        You don’t lose “a lot” of flexibility. It’s not like these are $50 million contracts or something.

        • Marc N.

          OK but now you’ve locked yourself into having a CF and a RF for a period of time. Does it get any more inflexible than having two people take up two spots everyday barring injury?

          Plus if they grab those guys then we are close to the 145 payroll ceiling the Trib established forever and told the Ricketts family not to top ever, under any circumstance.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            I guess in the literal sense, that counts as inflexibility.

            But when we get to the point where people are arguing that having good players is bad because it makes you inflexible, we’ve gone a bit round the bend.

            • CubFan Paul

              I’m sick of the “don’t sign good players cause its bad for the future” excuse.

              Miami and Boston both traded recently signed free agents ($100M contracts too) for lots of young talent. I thought that was the whole point of Theo&Co not handing out No Trade Clauses.

  • XavierGunz

    I agree w bluekoolaid up there. ^^^. If Upton don’t like chi then why would we want him. Screw him and bring in Bourn. I think we would b Giving up way to MUch to get him anyway. I’m sure whatever happens Hoyerstein will make the right call.

  • http://bleachernation frank hutch

    Theo and jed should get on the phone right now and see what seatle would offer for castro. If we could get 2 of those big 3 pitching prospects I’m game. Would maybe even do it for what they offered for upton

    • Marcel91

      No way. For a Starlin Castro you’d ask for all three of those guys and then some. People here really lowball the amount of value Castro has, and that’s pretty weird considering he’s our player so you’d think we’d overvalue him.

    • Rich H

      Castro plays a premium position and is above average hitter. Arizona gave up as good a prospect in Baur as the 2 pitchers that Seattle dangled for a glove first no hit guy that is barely in High A. The price for Castro would be a lot like what the price is for Stanton. Almost undo-able without a serious gutting of some teams farm system. The offer for Upton from Seattle would be a START to a trade possibility for Castro but I do not even think that Jed and Theo would even think about trading him unless they simply got blown out of the water.

    • Marc N.

      Jesus two of the three? Oh how kind of the Mariners! How cheap and efficient we might be if those two make it! Sure you don’t need a little less? After all Castro isn’t perfect. He didn’t even hit .280 in 2012, and have you seen his walk totals?