As you probably already know, Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers will listen to offers on just about any player. This offseason, Justin Upton has been the player every team is calling about, as the 25-year-old is rumored to be on the trading block (h/t Fox Sports) for the third time since 2010. However, for the first time it appears that there’s actually substance to those rumors.
On Monday morning we learned that the Texas Rangers tried to trade third baseman Mike Olt to the Braves in exchange for shortstop Andrelton Simmons. In turn, the Rangers would have then used Simmons to headline a deal for Upton. However, the Braves were unwilling to move (via Danny Knobler of CBS Sports) with Simmons, who impressed the organization in 49 games during the regular season.
The Diamondbacks have made it clear that they’re interested in acquiring a young shortstop or third baseman—preferably one who’s at least close to big league ready—as well as a front-line starting pitcher.
Signed to a team-friendly six-year, $50 million contract in 2009, Upton is owed $38.5 million through the 2015 season. If he returns to his 2011 form, then the deal will inevitably be viewed as a success. However, if there’s a perceived chance that Upton continues to regress as he did during the 2012 season, then the Diamondbacks would benefit from cashing in before his stock slides even farther.
While any deal for Upton will likely include at least one major leaguer—ideally a shortstop—Towers also will presumably listen to any prospect-based offer as well.
So, here’s a look at numerous teams who may be able to put together a flattering assemblage of prospects capable of landing Justin Upton.