Justin Upton to the Mets: 6 Reasons Why It Is Possible to Land Him
Justin Upton is on the market; this has been known for weeks now. Although he is currently having a down year, acquiring him might give one team a huge offensive upgrade and a good push for the playoffs.
The Mets are in dire need of a right-handed bat and, despite several setbacks, are in serious competition for one of the two Wild Card spots in the playoffs. Fortunately for them, Upton is a righty and would provide a huge push for them to get to the playoffs if acquired.
There are good reasons as to not acquire him, but then again, there are also good reasons to acquire him. This slideshow will focus on the reasons to acquire him.
Without further delay...
The David Wright Factor
It's common knowledge that David Wright knows both Justin and his brother BJ, as well as major leaguers Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Zimmerman and Mark Reynolds, considering they all played AAU ball together in Virginia.
Having both Wright and Upton together again could form some sort of chemistry for the two young stars if they were back on the same team and, with Upton giving Wright the protection that he hasn't had since Carlos Beltran left, it could be a positive result for both.
Some Teams Aren't in the Running
Justin Upton has a no-trade list, which allows him to bar moves to four teams: the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Indians. With the Yankees and Indians in contention, the Cubs in the National League, and the Red Sox continuously looking for "that piece," this could possibly spell some good news for the Mets.
Upton also had teams from a previous no-trade list that don't look like they are in serious consideration to acquire the star outfielder, like the Mariners and the Royals. With those six teams out of the way, it gets easier for the Mets to be one of the teams looking at him.
The Mets also could make a good run for him if they play their cards right.
Arizona Doesn't Want Prospects
Diamondbacks GM Josh Towers has made it clear that the Diamondbacks are not looking for prospects, stating that the Diamondbacks are still in "win mode".
For Sandy Alderson, that means that Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey could potentially be out of play and will stay that way.
If Arizona is looking for a major league deal, then the Mets will obviously have to give some key players up.
A couple players come to mind; in particular, Scott Hairston, who is having an excellent year. Hairston, who is hitting well at the new Citi Field, could have a field day in Arizona. In addition, the Mets could unload Andres Torres, who has pretty much outlived his usefulness in New York, or Lucas Duda, who has a lot of pop.
Even though the Diamondbacks aren't looking for prospects, a couple mid-level majors-ready guys could be in play, like Allan Dykstra, Juan Urbina and Domingo Tapia.
If this works out, then Justin Upton could find his way into the Mets lap.
Upton Has the Power for Citi Field
Although Justin Upton isn't hitting the way he did last year, the home runs he's hit have shown that he does have the power to get the ball over the fence at Citi Field. According to this scatter plot, all seven home runs he's hit would have cleared the fences, with only one just clearing.
As for last year's dimensions, Upton would have hit 30 out of 31 homers in Citi Field, with one going off the wall. This clearly shows that Upton has the power to hit in a pitcher's park like Citi.
Given the fact that David Wright has experienced a home run drop ever since he moved to Citi Field, having a guy like Upton, who can hit pitches over the fence at virtually any park, would be an upgrade for the offense, which has had to deal with the likes of Mike Baxter, Vinny Rottino and (ugh!) Jason Bay as cleanup guys.
He'll Be a Good Summer Rental, and Then a Candidate for Extension
Let's assume the Mets do acquire Upton. In doing this, they are getting a right-handed hitter, which they so desperately need. They are also netting a power hitter, a guy who hasn't even reached his 25th birthday and a lot of star power.
In addition, he will provide the umph that will help the Mets make the playoffs and will be a key component in a World Series run. Considering David Wright's postseason struggles, having another guy who has proven himself in the postseason will definitely improve the team's chances of making it far.
After that, the sky is the limit. With the minority investors in tow, extending Upton won't be as painful as before and if David Wright is willing to give the Mets a hometown discount, then that makes it even better. Having Upton on the team will definitely make things better a lot quicker, almost like Santonio Holmes in his first year as a New York Jets receiver.
As Opposed to the Alternatives...
Even though Upton will be a big fish to land, he will be a better option than some of the names the Mets have been looking at.
There was a time where Carlos Quentin would have been held in the same regard, but injuries have knocked him down a level or two. Even though his power is close to Upton's, he might not be the right guy for the job.
Josh Willingham is Chipper Jones 2.0, meaning that he loves playing against the Mets. Now imagine him as a Met. Will the numbers go the opposite way? Will he be what Ken Phelps was to the Yankees?
Ramon Hernandez is getting old fast and it might not be a good idea to invest in an old catcher like him. The same goes for Kelly Shoppach, who also seems not to have the offense necessary to make a difference.
Sandy Alderson should take a good look at Upton, and make sure that he gets the best deal possible in order to land him. If so, things could look up for the Mets now and in the future.