MLB Rumors: Should Rangers Trade for Upton, Stanton or Build from Within?
The Texas Rangers have been in the market for an impact bat all offseason. They have been in discussions with the Arizona Diamondbacks regarding Justin Upton for what appears to be months now. As the months go by, Arizona continues to flip-flop on trading Upton. According to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Upton is once again on the block.
What is the best move for the Rangers going forward? Depleting their farm system to acquire Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton, or building from within?
The Case for Justin Upton
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The Good: Justin Upton is a 25-year-old, five-tool, potential franchise player. Upton has been the No. 3 hitter for the past few seasons and helped lead Arizona to an NL West Division title in 2011.
The Bad: Upton is a 25-year-old potential franchise player who has been on the trade block for the past few seasons. Why is Arizona so willing to part with a player this talented? He also has flip-flopped between All-Star and mediocre seasons and needs to be more consistent year to year.
Career Highs: 31 home runs, 88 RBI, 21 Steals, 39 doubles, 107 runs, .300 batting average, and an on-base percentage of .369.
Team Control: Upton is signed through the 2015 season. He will earn $9.75 million in 2013, and $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.500 million in 2015.
The Cost: The Diamondbacks are looking to add talent mainly on the infield. Arizona may want Jurickson Profar, but would likely settle for a deal built around either Elvis Andrus or Mike Olt because Upton is owed significant money in 2014-15.
The Case for Giancarlo Stanton
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The Good: Giancarlo Stanton is just 23 years old and has already hit more than 30 home runs twice in his three seasons. Stanton hit 34 home runs in 2011 in only 516 at-bats and hit 37 in 2012 in just 123 games. Stanton is the league's next player to hit 50 home runs.
The Bad: Stanton battled a knee injury in 2012 that limited him to just 123 games.
Career Highs: 37 home runs, 30 doubles, 79 runs, .290 batting average, and .361 on-base percentage.
Team Control: Stanton is not arbitration-eligible until 2014. He is not slated to become a free agent until 2017.
The Cost: Stanton would cost the Rangers at least three of their top five prospects. If Jurickson Profar is not included there will be no deal. Anticipate a deal that starts with Profar, Mike Olt, and likely pitchers Martin Perez or Cody Buckel.
The Case for Building from Within
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The Texas Rangers have a loaded farm system. Some are not ready for the show just yet, but many of them are very close. Texas has highly skilled and talented prospects from all positions. The big question is whether to wait for these players to arrive, or deal them for top talents like Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton.
Below are the Rangers top three prospects according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
- Jurickson Profar: top prospect in all of baseball, currently a SS knocking on the door.
- Mike Olt: came up as a third baseman, now transitioning to outfield.
- Martin Perez: lefty starter debuted in 2012 with poor results, had solid numbers in Triple-A.
The Rangers' top three prospects are ready to debut and stay in 2013. All three got the call last season for the playoff push, but none played in more than 20 games. None of the players listed here will cost Texas anything for at least three to four years, which is when they will become arbitration eligible.
With Profar leading the way as Major League Baseball's prized prospect heading into 2013, should the Rangers trade for a known commodity in Stanton or Upton, or just bring on the kids?