What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I have soured on the idea of trading for Upton as well. Great talent but if Elvis is moved it needs to be for an elite pitcher like Price or a great package of young players from the Giants, Reds, Cardinals, or whoever. If getting rid of Upton is really a Dbacks priority I think our FO is clever enough to construct a deal not involving Elvis. Olt would be very valuable to Arizona and if we include a Perez or Holland they ought to accept.
JV wrote: "Yeah I'm not really on the Elvis for Upton train either. Both Uptons look good on paper but replacing a team first...I'll do anything to win type guy (Elvis) for a headache that cares more about his numbers than the team (take your pick of Uptons here)...that just doesn't appeal to me."
Right on, JV.
Chemistry is an important intangible. These two players couldn't be further apart in that regard. We are on the verge of ridding ourselves of skin cancer (Hamilton), subtracting white blood cells (Andrus & Young), while adding leukemia (Justin Upton) or brain cancer (brother BJ).
In certain, rare cases, it is worth slightly over paying a young player. This is the case with Elvis.
The Elephant in the room is KINSLER. His defense is slipping. Before you think about adding any more offense. You have to close the widening orfice up the middle or it will cancel out your other moves.
I like the idea of using a package centered around Olt to bring in Upton, and using Elvis instead to go after Price. This assumes that we won't be able to resign Elvis, which I doubt we would be. If we have a strong chance at retaining Elvis, I would rather retain him and deal Ian. But, nothing has lead me to believe that resigning Elvis is going to be all that doable. If we can trade Elvis, Olt, and a few other guys for Price and Upton and then still try to sign Greinke, that would sound good to me.
I agree that in light of their recent moves Arizona might be willing to trade Upton for a package that doesn't include Andrus. I also think that the Rangers need to be making this call pretty quickly though as it seems like Arizona isn't really fielding offers before deciding on a trade. Otherwise it seems pretty likely they would have been able to get far more for Chris Young than what the A's gave up for him. The thing I don't understand about so much of this post though is the comparisons being made between Upton and Murphy based largely on stats like HR and RBI, as if those were the only things that mattered for an outfielder. While HR's are certainly a useful stat, RBI are very heavily context driven. Should it really surprise us that Upton, playing for Arizona and hitting after guys like Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill had only slightly more RBI than Murphy, who hit farther down the order after giving guys like Cruz, Beltre, Andrus, Hamilton (admittedly hitting after MY would have mitigated some of that)? If you really want to compare the two without relying on WAR or similar advanced statistics, which is the only way an argument stating that Murphy and Upton are comparable players even has a chance, Upton still scored 42 more runs while being slightly better in most of the other counting statistics and that was in a down year. The two are not equal and the disparity between them is only going to continue growing in the years ahead.
Ultimately, I still don't think I would trade Andrus for him but the reason is far more that I think a trade for someone like Price would be of greater value than that such a deal would be inherently unequal. Moreover, given Arizona's recent moves, a deal centered around Olt, Sardinas, Murphy/Cruz and Perez/Ogando might be enough (the Diamondbacks have an abundance of SP's so I think they might rather have someone like Ogando than Perez or Holland).
Also, as kind of an aside, why do people assume that the Rangers couldn't resign Elvis in 2 years when he becomes a Free Agent if they were inclined to do so. It's not like he's going to cost more than if he sticks around here for 2 more years and if he wouldn't sign an extension with us, the odds of him signing one with whomever he's traded to are quite low as well. While I imagine their resources would be better spent elsewhere, if Kinsler continues to get worse, resigning him and moving Profar to second would still be a viable option then. I doubt it happens and I'm not saying that losing him now wouldn't represent lost value in him playing somewhere else the next two years, but it would be a way to allow Profar to continue developing, give Kinsler an opportunity to bounce back, and still add needed help in the form of a potential TORP or other massively valuable resource for the time being.
Despite not even reaching his prime yet, Upton has a career line of: .278/.357/.475
As to the "why does Texas need him" question: if Upton did not improve at all (unlikely given the fact that he is about to enter his prime years), he would still have the team's highest OBP. Getting on base is pretty important in baseball.
It's stupid to look solely at his 2012 stats. Again, it is well documented that he was playing WITH A SHOULDER INJURY throughout the season. Instead of looking at his injury-plagued season, why not look at his most recent healthy season?
In 2011, Upton produced this line: .289/.369/.529 (.898)...31 HRs...21 stolen bases.
But yeah, a 25-year-old who can:* hit 30+ HRs...* steal 20+ bases...* and lead the team in OBP...
...isn't very useful. If you don't want to trade Elvis for him, that's understandable. But please stop the rhetoric that Upton is just a marginal player. He is already a very good player and is likely to develop into a superstar.
If Az thought Upton was all that great they would find a place for him. They are giving up on his high potential because of it just has not manifested. Getting beat out by an unproven rookie and Para does not bode well. THEY ARE TRYING TO DUMP HIM!! Texas need not be a dump ground.
Should Arizona trade Upton, they will be "giving up" on him no more than Texas would be "giving up" on Elvis. Organizations typically trade from an area of strength in order to strengthen an area of weakness.
Arizona has depth at the COF spot and has a weakness at SS. Upton is their most valuable trade piece.
Conversely, Texas has depth at SS and weakness at the COF spots. Andrus is the Rangers' most valuable trade piece.
Texas needs a COF and Arizona needs a SS. The trade would make sense for both organizations.
I could be incorrect in saying I didn't think we would be able to resign Elvis, but I was under the impression that many did not think we would be able to resign him because we extended Ian. I have seen many people say that we certainly would have tried to resign Elvis longterm before Ian, and the fact that we extended Ian instead suggests that Elvis is asking more than we would be willing to give him. Again, I'm not sure, but this was the impression I got.
I also want to point out that, while the comparisons between Upton and Murphy are flawed, perhaps a comparison between Upton and Jason Heyward would be more appropriate. If you look at Heyward's numbers from 2 years ago, when he was dealing with a similar injury and trying to play through it, the stats are fairly close to what Upton put up this year (though Upton was still better overall). Once Heyward got healthy this past year he put up a 6.6 WAR season with stats that were eerily similar to Upton's 2011 (the last season he was healthy). While I'm not saying Upton will bounce back to put up a 6 WAR season next year, if healthy I think at least a 4 WAR year with good defense is almost a given. While I would still prefer to trade Andrus for someone like David Price, trading him for Upton would not be a bad move either. The only reason I would likely ask for more in return would be the contract disparity as Upton's value is somewhat mitigated by his salary in comparison to Andrus. He is still very likely to outproduce what he'll be paid but perhaps not by the same margin as Elvis.
I agree Nate that it would be unlikely for us to resign Elvis due to the Ian extension but what I was trying to say is simply that if trading Elvis turns out to be a mistake because either Ian doesn't begin hitting again or Profar flops for some reason, resigning him in 2 years would still be as much of an option as it is if we held onto him until he hits Free Agency. I agree that extending Andrus was likely discussed before offering Ian an extension and that the result of those conversations was the Rangers coming away feeling like he was going to be too expensive but I could also see a scenario where he was simply opposed to an extension in the first place. If that was the case, they might have thought it prudent to lock up Ian knowing that otherwise they would run the risk of losing both after 2014. If the latter scenario is in fact the way it played out then in two years they might be willing to pay what's necessary after getting a better grasp of how much they really need Elvis (it seems hard to know that now with Profar still relatively unproven). Ultimately, I just wanted to point out that Elvis seems just as likely to be a Ranger in 2015 if we trade him now than if we kept him until he hit Free Agency.
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