MLB Trade Rumors: Will Boston Finally Trade for Justin Upton?

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJanuary 18, 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Justin Upton #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Colorado Rockies during the MLB game at Chase Field on October 2, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 5-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have never pulled the trigger when it comes to dealing for Arizona Diamondbacks star outfielder Justin Upton. But now, it’s time.

Arizona is putting Upton on the market this offseason and are currently engaged in active discussions, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He adds that clubs are looking into Upton's background, makeup and other things to see if he’s worth trading a part of the farm for.

The Diamondbacks played around with the idea of parting ways with Upton near last season’s trade deadline, but they ended up keeping him instead. It went as far as them putting him on waivers and him getting claimed, but they pulled him back.

The Red Sox were not the team that put a claim in on Upton, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, but their name will definitely be in the mix this time around. Boston is expected to be in the mix for the 25-year-old outfielder who hit .280/.355/.430 with 17 home runs in 2012, according to the Boston Herald.

Boston needs to find two outfielders this offseason; one to replace Cody Ross, unless he re-signs, and another to fill the void left by the ailing Carl Crawford, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the season. The Red Sox have a set of average backup options, but no one who will truly make a big difference in the lineup or in the field.

Adding Upton to the roster definitely would.

Upton is one of the few five-tool players in the game, and probably the only one who’s actually available this offseason. He’s put together a couple of good seasons with Arizona, but he just isn’t what they’re looking for, apparently. His rare set of skills may not be what the Diamondbacks need right now, but he is what the Red Sox need.

Boston needs a guy who can patrol any of the outfield positions with ease while providing a spark to the injury-plagued lineup. Upton has hit at least 17 home runs in each of the past four seasons, which may not seem like a lot, but it’s better than seeing Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish combine to hit six. He has good speed on the basepaths and there’s no doubt that a change of scenery is what this All-Star needs.

The Diamondbacks were willing to deal Upton to Boston after the conclusion of the 2010 season, but general manager Kevin Towers had high demands. He was looking for Clay Buchholz or a deal that replicated the one that brought Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. He didn’t get what he wished for and Upton stayed put.

It seems less likely that Boston would move Buchholz now more than ever, but other key contributors could be on the move. The Red Sox don’t want to trade Jacoby Ellsbury, but they’re willing to listen, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Would dealing Ellsbury to Arizona be enough to land Upton?

If Boston were to throw in a handful of decent or good prospects, they could receive even more than Upton. Arizona is willing to listen to offers on young pitcher Trevor Bauer, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Bauer was deemed one of the top pitchers in the minor leagues and appeared in just four major league games for Arizona in 2012. He still has a lot of developing to do, but it seemed like everything was going according to plan during the year.

The Red Sox need pitchers and they need an outfielder. Even if it meant giving up one of their biggest assets, it would potentially make an OK situation into a great one.