Boston Red Sox: Justin Upton Blockbuster Deal Still Possible
A big topic of discussion that has surrounded the Red Sox since this past offseason is the prospect of Justin Upton potentially being traded to Boston.
Boston obviously hasn't been the only name that has been linked to Upton, as many teams have expressed interest in the young phenom.
Now with the trade deadline approaching ever so quickly, Upton's name is once again being thrown around the league, and there is a very good chance that the young stud could be in different colors come August.
Upton hasn't had the stellar season he had last year, posting just a .273 average with seven home runs and 38 RBI.
The 24-year-old may not be having the season you would expect of a phenom, but he is young and playing for Arizona, so this shouldn't be too much to worry about.
Speculation of an Upton trade to Boston was growing, with even ideas such as a Jacoby Ellsbury swap, until Fox Sports released a report saying that Upton could block trades to four different teams: the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and yes, the Boston Red Sox.
So game over, right? If Upton can block any trade with the Red Sox involving him, then obviously it is no longer a possibility and we shouldn't even consider it.
That same report from Fox Sports states that players will often include high-revenue teams like the Red Sox and Yankees on their no-trade list in an attempt to get more money out of the team to drop the no-trade clause.
Should the Red Sox Try and Trade for Justin Upton?
So as long as this trade is still an option, is it something that the Red Sox and their fans really want?
Make no doubt, Justin Upton is a special athlete and ballplayer and has been compared to a young Ken Griffey Jr. at points during his career.
He is also a right fielder, so he would fit right into Fenway in a long-term role, with Crawford in left and Ellsbury in center for the foreseeable future.
There is no question that adding Upton would be a vast improvement to the lineup and would only solidify the outfield even more, but the real question is: Would it be worth what we would have to give up?
One idea was Ellsbury-for-Upton straight up, as I mentioned earlier, but that really wouldn't make much sense. Ellsbury is a 30-30 leadoff man who won a Gold Glove in 2011. Ellsbury is simply a better player to have.
The other plan would be to fill Arizona with the prospects of the Red Sox farm system, which definitely makes me cringe when I think about it.
The Fox Sports report said that Arizona was looking for a long-term shortstop or third baseman. Luckily, Boston has some to spare in the minors.
As I wrote about at the end of June, the Red Sox have four good, young shortstops who could all one day start at Fenway.
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Bogaerts looks like he may be a third baseman at the major league level, and the Sox also have third base prospects Garin Cecchini and Kolbrin Vitek who they could offer up for Upton.
Ideally, Boston will never have need for these third baseman, and Will Middlebrooks will be a healthy star for the next 10 years at Fenway, but you never know.
Lastly, the Red Sox could offer up some veteran outfield presence for Upton, considering how Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava all become expendable in this trade.
Looking back at all of this, it is clear that even if the Red Sox could make a deal with Arizona, and even if they were able to pay Upton enough money to waive his no-trade clause, Boston would still be giving up a lot of talent.
Would it be worth it? Maybe, but it would depend on how smart Cherington was with which prospects he were to give away.
It's an extremely difficult call to make, but it really comes down to the young talent in Boston's farm system and trying to decide whether Justin Upton is worth several of them.
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