In his meet and greet with season ticket holders Wednesday night, Sandy Alderson said the Mets were never really in on Justin Upton because he refused to part with either Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler, as the Diamondbacks apparently demanded. That was probably a good idea — young potential aces are hard to find.
I wonder if Arizona knows something about Upton that no one else does. They seemed so determined to trade a 25-year-old power hitter who has already demonstrated superstar possibilities and is signed to a reasonable contract.
That feeling intensified Thursday when the Diamondbacks signed Martin Prado, the main man in the trade, to a four-year, $40 million deal. Upton is owed roughly the same amount over the next three seasons. Prado is a fine player, a .300 hitter, but he doesn’t have close to the upside of Justin Upton. Why would Arizona want to pay the same money to Prado that it would have paid to Upton, who is also four years younger than Prado?
The four other players the Diamondbacks got, with the exception of Randall Delgado, are not particularly highly regarded, so it’s not like they got a haul of top prospects for Upton.
There is talk that Arizona was not thrilled with Justin Upton’s overall effort, that the team prefers high-energy type players and Upton was more of a cool customer. But still, you can put up with that in exchange for the numbers he produces. It just makes me think that there is something else going on here.
In any case, he is not on the Mets, and they go into the season with an outfield consisting of exactly zero major league-caliber players. Well played, Sandy Alderson.
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Date: January 31, 2013