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Justin Upton: Future Diamondback, Not Phillie

December 29, 2010

Once again, I find myself reading nonsense from a Phillies fan attempting to get nothing for something. This time it’s a trade of Joe Blanton for Justin Upton. In his own defense, this guys saves himself by saying it would take “much more” than Heavy B, but he thinks RAJ can pull it off. First and foremost, there appears that there has been an increase in demand for Joe with Carl Pavano demanding that elusive three-year deal. That being said, Joe Blanton is not worth much in trade value to other teams–unless the Phillies want a poor prospect and cap relief. In 2010, Upton had a WAR of 2.3 vs. Joe’s -0.7, which speaks for itself, really. Upton’s 2.3 was down from 5.2 in 2009 and it appears he had a down year, but the D-Back faithful still think highly of him–and rightfully so. What I found interesting and perhaps a reason to stay away from Upton is the following from that latest link:

The other interesting split in Upton’s 2010 season was his poor performance against left-handed pitchers. His stats vs. RHP were almost identical for the last two years, but for some reason his excellent hitting against LHP in 2009 disappeared in 2010.

That’s exactly what we need, a righty who is losing his ability to hit lefties. We might as well put a lefty in there to stare at pitches. Maybe that was in bad taste, but the taste of Brian Wilson’s beard still has a bad taste in all our mouths. However, as Kyle Phillipi points out why would we even want a guy who “strikes out just as much as Ryan Howard, but has far less power and an even a lower batting average?” Although… his girlfriend is a smokeshow.

I’m getting off track, back to how neither the Phillies nor any other team will be trading for Justin Upton. So let’s do some history for those who were unaware of where this all got started (myself included): On November 18th, it became apparent the Diamonbacks were willing to trade Justin Upton. In less than a week, however, the DBack faithful discovered he would be going no where and most likely be on the Opening Day Roster. Now it get’s really interesting.

Remember Upton was “on the market” for about a week, from November 18th to the 23rd, but apparently the only team to be in serious contention for him were the Boston Red Sox, who were unwilling to part with fan-favorite flame thrower, Daniel Bard and Jacoby Ellsbury. Very interesting. This information–that the Sox were the only ones seriously talking about Upton–was not previed to the public. If it had been, perhaps it would have been foreshadowing to their signing of Carl Crawford on December 10th? I mean, there were multiple rumors that The Beard would sign with the Sox, but after that DIDN’T HAPPEN, perhaps we should have seen the Crawford signing coming? Who knows, I guess it’s all moot now.

Well anyhoo, as Venom Strikes reports, Upton will probably be a DBack “for years to come.”

Considering it appears the Snakes wanted the flame-throwing Bard and young speedster Ellsbury in return for Upton, it’s really hard to imagine the Phils have any pieces to give up for him. Nor should they. The Phils have Bennie Fresh, who, in less than 305 PA for the Phillies has posted a 1.2 WAR. Imagine what he’d be like with a season of starting? This guy has potential, and a hell of a lot more potential than the prospect of the Phillies acquiring Justin Upton.

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