Ah, the annual MLB Winter Meetings—that four-day workweek when owners and GMs alike gather around the cold December hot stove in the hopes of coming away with a shiny new Christmas present for their respective franchises.
This year, ESPN analyst Pedro Gomez reported that Arizona might just be trying for an Upton-Cliff Lee deal.
Unfortunately for the Mickey Mouse network, former employee—and debut-Diamondbacks broadcaster—Steve Berthiaume helped shoot down that story within minutes of the Gomez tweet.
Should Arizona trade a player with Upton's résumé? And if so, for whom?
Under contract until 2016, Upton could provide a financial chip for either Arizona or their eventual trade partner, depending on the potential cash component of such a deal, ultimately giving the D-Backs extra leeway in structuring a way out for the 25-year-old two-time NL All-Star.
In terms of outright statistics, Upton was not quite the under-performer in batting average and on-base percentage that some reports might have readers believe—his .280 average in 2012 was two points higher than his career .278 mark while his .355 OBP was two points lower than his career OBP of .357.
What Upton has suffered is a power outage, seeing his slugging percentage drop from .529 in 2011 to just .430 in 2012, while his 17 homers and 67 RBI closely resembled his 17 and 69 figures from 2010.
On the other hand, Upton's 2012 fielding percentage of .984 also closely resembled his 2010 score of .985. Upton has never had a better fielding season than in 2010, with his 2011 fielding percentage of .964 falling into third place for highest gloved performance.
The Diamondbacks should trade Upton in the same sense that Arizona should trade any player—only if the price is right.
Introducing Royals top prospect Wil Myers.
In 2012, Myers recorded a combined .314 batting average between Double-A's Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the Omaha Storm Chasers of Triple-A's Pacific Coast League, additionally producing an MiLB OPS of .987 and an aggregate 37 homers and 109 RBI.
If outfitted in D-Backs red, Myers could clearly become a more than acceptable Upton replacement in the Arizona outfield.
In looking for a new No. 1 starter, the Royals would look to the future—take one of our prospects, leave one of yours.
With a 12-2, 2.42 ERA minor league performance in 2012, youngster Trevor Bauer would likely become the Royals' ideal target.
Unfortunately—or thankfully, depending on your perspective—Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall recently reiterated that the Diamondbacks are not looking to trade Bauer this hot stove period.
And therein lies the roadblock.
So even if Arizona should attempt to trade Upton for Myers—or as part of a deal to procure Myers—Kansas City would be wise to balk.
As would Arizona, if the Royals present a certain counter-offer involving a certain D-Backs pitching prospect.
Keep on shopping.
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