New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Is BJ Upton a Real Target?
BJ Upton is a talented player that is full of potential but has never been able to reach what he is fully capable of.
The speedster could be on a whole different level if he could capitalize on his athletic ability and get his bat to be more consistent.
The real question though, is it his athleticism that is holding him back?
Has Upton been able to just rely on being a freak of nature and not focus on the little mental things that baseball is filled with?
It appears that the Rays have thought that he has capped out his potential and usefulness for the club and have put him up on the trade block.
Here are three reasons why the Yankees could be the perfect fit for the athletic center fielder.
Yankees Have Pieces to Deal
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The Yankees have a strong farm system, which even though they are in the same division as the Tampa Bay, make them a team that they Rays would be willing to listen to.
The Rays also rely on the development of young talent to make them relevant year after year. They simply do not have the money that the Yankees and Red Sox do to bring in the high-profile veterans.
As trade chips for BJ Upton, the Yankees will look at dealing some young prospects and probably a reliever to the Rays. In exchange they will take BJ Upton and try to make him fulfill his potential.
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BJ Upton would benefit greatly under the tutelage of Kevin Long.
A prime example of Long working wonders is what he did with Curtis Granderson, who a few seasons back seemed a lot like BJ Upton.
In 2009, when Granderson was traded to the Yankees, he was having a tough season much like Upton. Granderson put in the time and effort with Kevin Long and he is now one of the premier players in the AL East and baseball.
Upton has the tools to be able to do the same.
He has an inconsistent swing, but with some tweaking, Upton could have similar results to Granderson.
He is also a player worth taking a shot on because if he gets on base, he is a constant threat to move over and put himself into scoring position. With the bats that the Yankees have, this is something that is desired.
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The Yankees have enough outfielders between Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Andruw Jones to allow for BJ Upton to not be a center piece on the team.
His talent will warrant him time but the talent around Upton will challenge him to perform to his abilities. This will all come without so much pressure.
BJ Upton is in a situation now where he is on a great team with the Rays, but he is one of their star players who is a big talking point anytime he does poorly.
It might be tough to believe that moving to a city like New York would allow a player to move slightly out of the spotlight, but with a team that has so many proven stars, he can step into the background and find a place in the team where he is comfortable.
The talent around him will pressure BJ Upton but he can work into a groove and get into the rotation at his own pace.
Having to fight for a spot will force Upton to mature and not just rely on his athleticism, but instead work on the little mental things in baseball.
This in turn would allow for him to fulfill his potential.