Justin Upton follows through during an Oct. 2 game against the Colorado Rockies
As the New York Yankees stick to their claim that a reduction of payroll is imminent this year, they must be forced to consider that a trade for Arizona's Justin Upton might put them in the World Series.
Coming off a disappointing four-game sweep in the 2012 ALCS, the Yankees' loaded lineup showed surprising signs of weakness.
Hit-or-miss approaches from guys like Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and even Robinson Cano left New York with alarming strikeout totals and an early ticket home to the Bronx.
So with limited resources and unwavering 'title-or-bust' approach that surrounds the Yankees, how is Brian Cashman going to get the job done?
Here are a few reasons Justin Upton is the solution.
The Time is Right
If the statistical trend continues, the Yankees couldn't pursue Justin Upton at a more opportune time. Through his first five full seasons, the Diamondbacks' outfielder has shown spikes of production in alternating years.
After what was then a career year in 2009, Upton followed with a disappointing 2010 before finishing fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2011. Injuries triggered another dropoff in production last season, begging the question: is 2013 the year Justin Upton truly makes his claim as one of baseball's best?
With the aging Alex Rodriguez and inconsistent production from Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, the addition of Justin Upton to an already powerful lineup could give the Yankees the five-hole protection that was missing for much of 2012.
The emergence of Robinson Cano as New York's best all-around hitter has Joe Girardi pressured to bat him cleanup. However, without a contact hitter behind him, Cano's value as a cleanup hitter is greatly diminished.
Upton's addition to the Yankees lineup would provide Girardi with the ultimate flexibility in crafting his batting order and give New York arguably the greatest No. 6 batter in all of baseball—in Upton or Teixeira.
Another reason a trade for Justin Upton makes sense is the fact that he would likely benefit from a change of scenery. As the No. 1 overall pick from the 2005 Amateur Draft, Upton has been viewed as"the man" out in Arizona.
With the pressure to produce in the pitcher's ballpark that is Chase Field, it is somewhat surprising that Upton has put together such complete seasons at the age of 25.
His addition to a talented, veteran lineup in New York would provide Upton with invaluable learning experience and likely alleviate much of the pressure that he feels on the West coast.