Justin Upton: Teams That Need All-Star Right Fielder Most
Justin Upton is front and center on the trading block, and there are multiple teams interested in the two-time All-Star.
Atlanta, Baltimore, San Diego, Tampa Bay and Texas have all been linked to potential Upton deals (h/t Scott Miller, CBS Sports). The Mets could also get involved again, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Seattle was in the mix, but Upton rejected a trade with the Mariners, who are one of four teams on his no-trade list. The others are Boston, Toronto and the Chicago Cubs.
That's unfortunate for them, as the 2011 Silver Slugger is one of the best hitters in baseball. Every team could use a hitter like Upton. But of the teams that are interested, the following three need his services the most.
New York Mets
The Mets originally found the Diamondbacks asking price to be too high, but Heyman said they would be "happy to re-engage" in talks with Arizona. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as New York's other team had one of the worst offenses in baseball last season.
The Mets finished 25th in runs (650) and 23rd in OPS (.701). Their team batting average was just .249, and their inability to produce runs led to them to a fourth-place finish in the NL East.
Upton may be pricey, but he would also be a major upgrade over Mike Baxter. The Mets should at least continue to negotiate with Arizona.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are another NL team in desperate need of offense.
San Diego's lineup disappointed in 2012, finishing 23rd in runs (651), 22nd in batting average (.247) and 26th in slugging percentage (.380). With their offense sputtering, the Padres were able to win just 76 games.
They've already discussed trading Chase Headley to Arizona for Upton (h/t Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports), so the Padres are interested. It would hurt to lose a quality player like Headley, but the younger Upton could be a better option for the team going forward.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays won 90 games last year, but their offense didn't contribute as much as you'd think.
Seattle and Oakland were the only AL teams to post a worse batting average than Tampa Bay (.240), and the Rays finished 18th in runs (697) and 20th in slugging percentage (.394) among all MLB teams.
They could definitely use an upgrade over Matt Joyce, who hit just .241 in 2012. Upton, who hit .280 with 17 home runs, would immediately improve the Rays' offense.
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