4 MLB Trade Chips Who Just Got a Lot More Valuable Post-Justin Upton Trade
MLB teams that missed out on Justin Upton will find several fallback options difficult to obtain. As a direct result of his trade to the Atlanta Braves, the following trade chips just became move valuable.
The market is all about supply and demand. With Upton no longer available, there will be increased competition for the remaining impact hitters.
New asking prices will be set for these big names during the remaining weeks of the offseason.
Jason Kubel (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Last season, Kubel led Arizona in home runs and runs batted in.
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This 30-year-old is practically immovable with Justin Upton's departure now official.
Adam Eaton, Gerardo Parra and Cody Ross provide the Arizona Diamondbacks with ample outfield depth to survive. However, moving Jason Kubel doesn't make sense unless the team gets overwhelmed with full salary relief and a high-ceiling prospect.
The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox (among others) reportedly had interest in Kubel. They weren't thrilled with the demands in recent weeks, however, and won't change their stances unless desperation sets in.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Arizona is ready to pull the power hitter off the trading block:
The #Dbacks will now keep Jason Kubel, GM Kevin Towers says.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 25, 2013
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Boston Red Sox)
Saltalamacchia hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2012.
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been extraneous since the Boston Red Sox signed David Ross. Any player with that label is generally inexpensive on the trade market.
However, the Justin Upton trade means the catcher might have a couple new suitors in the National League.
If the New York Mets plan to battle for a wild-card berth, they'll need to win head-to-head matchups against the improved Atlanta Braves (who they face 19 times). Salty could provide power behind the plate as a stopgap until Travis d'Arnaud is ready to debut.
The St. Louis Cardinals—a more legitimate contender—should be concerned with sliding in the pecking order. Saltalamacchia's role would be small yet significant as the second-string catcher and pinch hitter against left-handers.
He is owed $4.5 million next season before reaching free agency.
Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Gonzalez has $71 million remaining on his contract.
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Carlos Gonzalez is very comparable to Justin Upton in terms of age, MLB experience, salary and skill set.
CarGo challenged for NL MVP honors in 2010 and was producing at a similar rate last season before being slowed by a lingering hamstring injury. He totals plenty of stolen bases and extra-base hits. The 27-year-old's contract extension runs through 2017.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Colorado Rockies have not considered trading him lately.
That could change, however, as the team struggles to add starting pitching depth. Carl Pavano isn't a target anymore after the right-hander ruptured his spleen in a bizarre snow-shoveling accident.
The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt their star for an MLB-ready starting pitcher, accomplished infielder and several prospects. Colorado can now hold out for an offer of that ilk.
Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins)
Stanton is pre-arbitration eligible and continuing to improve.
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Any club seeking a dominant slugger with an ultra-competitive personality who's four years away from free agency will inquire about Giancarlo Stanton.
Simply put, every club wants him.
Like Justin Upton, Stanton can be among baseball's best in 2013 if balls bounce the right way and injuries don't get in the way. His negligible salary allows the Miami Marlins to demand much more in return.
Expectations are high for the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, but both still have glaring lineup holes to attend to. With the Fish beginning to rebuild, this is a great opportunity to get them into a bidding war.