Friday, January 11, 2013

Should The Yankees Spend That Much On Upton?

Answer: A pitching prospect with "ace" upside, a top infield prospect, and two young MLB relievers.
Question: What will it cost to trade for Justin Upton?

Scott Miller of reported that Seattle had offered Taijuan Walker ("pitching prospect with 'ace' upside"), Nick Franklin ("top infield prospect"), and Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor ("two young MLB relievers"), to Arizona for Justin Upton. Ken Rosenthal tweeted that a source said Upton rejecting the deal saved Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik's job, as the package was too much. Especially when you consider that the Mariners most likely won't compete for any sort of title within the next few years, and Upton is signed for 3 more years and $38.5 million.

So, anyway, Justin may still be in play for the Yankees, but do they have what it takes to acquire the young outfielder? I'm not so sure. Looking at the Yanks' pitching prospects, I don't see one with "ace" potential. Sure, Manny Banuelos has a lot of upside, but after only throwing 24 innings in 2012 I doubt the DBacks are that keen on trading for him. And as far as a top infield prospect... the Yankees don't really have one. The only place the Yankees can compete as far as talent is with the relievers, by offering David Robertson and Mark Montgomery, but even then Robertson will be getting paid more since Furbush and Pryor are not arbitration eligible.

Although I've made it clear that I'd love the Bombers to bring Justin to the Bronx, I'm not sure it's the best thing to do. Yes, the austerity budget is ridiculous, but it's a reality. Therefore, spending $38.5 million over the next 3 years for Upton, when the team has Tyler Austin close to MLB-ready, may not be the best way to go. I'd rather the team extend Robinson Cano, and then see what they have left to spend in other areas. And as for those other "areas", finding a corner outfielder isn't the hardest thing to do. What about dealing a lefty reliever, which the Yankees can afford to give up, for Michael Morse and then looking at re-signing him next year when Granderson is gone?

"Yeah, what about that?"

I'm really just playing devil's advocate here, and pointing out the side of the discussion that would say trading a big package for Justin Upton may not make sense. This time next year the Yankees may be in a position where they really do need to make a big splash like this, and you can't tell me there won't be any good/young corner outfielders available somehow. But right now they don't seem to be in that "need" spot.

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