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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Heyman: Yankees ‘in on everybody,’ ask about Justin Upton, Victorino, Span

In their search for an outfielder with Brett Gardner likely out for the year, the Yankees “are in on everybody,’’ says a rival executive. That means they’ve checked in on Shane Victorino, Justin Upton and Denard Span, and presumably others.

But so far they have nothing going with any of those guys for a variety of reasons. Here’s a rundown.

1. Victorino. Although the Phillies-Victorino marriage is unlikely to go into next season, the Phillies are shopping no one and instead concentrating on trying to keep star pitcher Cole Hamels with a long-term deal. One competing exec said he sees the Phillies even keeping Victorino through the season, then taking a draft choice when they lose him in the winter. (To get the draft choice, the Phillies would have to make a qualifying offer of about $12 million, but the exec thinks they’d make the offer if only because he sees Victorino getting a three-year deal elsewhere.) The Yankees do like Victorino, so if Philly starts to sell after settling the Hamels situation, they’d be happy to take the call.

2. Upton. He isn’t going to the Yankees anytime soon for a many reasons, though not necessarily because they are one of four teams on his no-trade list. Other teams seem to like him more is one reason. Another is the growing sense that an Upton trade, a major untertaking, may wait for the winter.

3. Span. The Yankees like him, too. But one source said “the Twins are asking for a ton.’’ That’s probably not a shock considering the interest all-around in center fielders. The Twins seem more open to dealing him than Josh Willingham, for instance, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely open to it.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: July 22, 2012 at 01:21 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rumors, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. bobm Posted: July 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4189088)
Victorino - ACES
Upton - Larry Reynolds
Span - CAA Sports (Joe Urbon)
Willingham - Matt Sosnick
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4189092)
In the comments section, someone says they don't want banjo-hitting Span, but that Victorino is a great fit with a winning attitude.

The mind of the average American, ladies and gentlemen.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4189110)
Everybody? I can see one conspicuous omission...
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4189124)
Do the Yankees have enough minor league talent to outbid everyone else for one of the major available players? If so, would it really be wise for them to make that trade when they're already, myriad injuries and all, the best team in the league?
   5. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4189129)
someone says they don't want banjo-hitting Span, but that Victorino is a great fit with a winning attitude.


It's not so much of a stretch. Victorino has more power.

EDIT: Thanks bobm for the needed agent list.
   6. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4189132)
Upton isn't getting traded unless Cano is part of any deal.
   7. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4189146)
Victorino has more power.


I guess so, but his SLG is all of ten points higher this year.

EDIT: And everything else is worse, from his fielding to his batting average.
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4189153)
Yanks probably wonder if they can get him on the cheap. While Span is having a good year for the first time in a while.
   9. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4189157)
Do the Yankees have enough minor league talent to outbid everyone else for one of the major available players?

Probably not. Unless I am missing someone obvious, most of their best prospects are in A ball. The closest thing they have to Major League ready prospects are some back end rotation guys (Phelps, Mitchell), a likely second division starting second baseman (Corban Joseph) and Banuelos who isn't really ready for the Majors. The Yankee system is pretty thin compared to recent seasons, due to injuries, regression and guys getting moved.

If so, would it really be wise for them to make that trade when they're already, myriad injuries and all, the best team in the league?

Probably not for this season. Jones/Ibanez is a pretty effective platoon, even if Ibanez is a horrible OFer. Carry them and a 5th guy (Wise) for late inning defense and it covers them for the postseason.

However, I think if they get any of these guys, it will be with an eye towards keeping them long term (like Granderson or Swisher). I would be happy if they put a lot of talent into acquiring Upton for example. I don't see anyone in the system I wouldn't trade to get him.
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4189163)
Alfonso Soriano is available.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4189185)
So the headline is "Yanks in on everybody" but the excerpt makes it clear that they really aren't in on anybody. Thanks.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: July 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4189214)
The headline preview ended at "Justin" for me, so I thought they'd asked about Verlander because, hey, it doesn't hurt to check.
   13. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4189220)
Upton isn't getting traded unless Cano is part of any deal.


That doesn't make any sense. Even setting aside the fact that the Diamondbacks appear to be desperate to get rid of Upton there's absolutely no reason for them to want Cano in return. What use would they have for a guy who is a free agent after this season and plays the same position as one of their strongest performers in 2012?
   14. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4189223)
The headline preview ended at "Justin" for me, so I thought they'd asked about Verlander because, hey, it doesn't hurt to check.


That was apparently Neal Huntington's philosophy when he called Dayton Moore to ask if he's interested in doing Billy Butler for Justin Wilson.

Jim, I think the "Cano in any deal" comment was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that, for the time being, Towers is asking for the moon.
   15. OCD SS Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4189232)
It really just points to Tower's mania in trying to deal Upton. He's been quoted as wanted to make the D-Backs better this year or wanting near MLB-ready talent ast year there was a quite where he was looking for "3 players who could be Justin Upton" for Upton). Yet he's pretty much tipped his hand that he's going to deal him soon, and that is going to limit what other teams offer since they'll assume Towers knows something they don't and hedge their risk. I can't even figure out who would have what Towers is looking for who would also be a match with the D-Backs. I suspect when Upton is traded I'll be able to hear the howls in AZ from here (& if the Sox arent in on him I just hope he's not sent into the AL East).
   16. tjm1 Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4189243)
Why not Soriano for the Yankees? He's not what he once was, and he is overpaid for two more years, but the Yankees can afford the money. The big question is whether he becomes a distraction next year when Gardner's healthy. Would he make sense as the right side of a platoon with Gardner?
   17. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4189254)
[16] Hal Steinbrenner is on record as saying he wants to get the Yankees payroll under $189 million by 2014 to reset the luxury tax (Source). Even if the Cubs send a good bit of cash with Soriano, I think his entire contract would count for the Yankees for luxury tax purposes. (I could be wrong about that; I don't know all the subtleties of the tax calculations)
   18. OCD SS Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4189256)
If the Cubs are paying the money, that counts against their CBT number, not the Yankees. The Yankees, like everyone else, probably don't want Soriano because he's not very good.
   19. Gamingboy Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4189257)
The Yankees are always in on everybody. They're the Yankees. Even when they aren't in, they are in. Even when they REALLY aren't in, the player's agent will say they are win.
   20. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4189264)
Even setting aside the fact that the Diamondbacks appear to be desperate to get rid of Upton there's absolutely no reason for them to want Cano in return. What use would they have for a guy who is a free agent after this season and plays the same position as one of their strongest performers in 2012?


I forgot about Hill (there's never any D-Backs coverage on this coast), but it was more of a general statement that Upton will cost the world to any team trading for him.

Is there any reason why AZ would be desperate to get rid of Upton?
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: July 22, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4189267)
Is there any reason why AZ would be desperate to get rid of Upton?


Other than theories of an undisclosed injury, that's the question a great many of us have been asking.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4189397)
If you're the Yankees, do you swap Gardner as part of an Upton deal?
   23. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4189399)
If you're the Yankees, do you swap Gardner as part of an Upton deal?


#### yes, if that's what it takes. Upton's having a power outage, but ####, he's 24 and has a career OPS+ of 117.
   24. OCD SS Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4189405)
If you're the Yankees, do you swap Gardner as part of an Upton deal?


If you're the D-Backs and you're (possibly) moving a player because of (hypothetical) injuries, why are you taking a deal whose centerpiece is an OFer who has real and concrete injuries that have him on the DL and out for most of the season?
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4189412)
I can totally see Upton to the Yanks for an awful package because other teams seem to give good players to the Yankees for nothing.
   26. RollingWave Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4189415)
The Yankees minor league are having a god awful season where just about every prospect above A ball is either hurt or sucking.

I don't see how the D-backs can't get some other teams to do better prospect wise than the Yanks, but then again, the Yankees seem to pull off ridiculas deals every other year.

   27. billyshears Posted: July 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4189433)
I'm not sure Upton is really all THAT good. I mean, he's good, but he doesn't look to be the franchise centerpiece that he was expected to be. And while he will be underpaid, he's really not all THAT cheap for the rest of his contract. I think the Diamondbacks are exploring trades for Upton because they expect somebody to buy in who views Upton as if he is the player he was expected to be instead of the player he is.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: July 23, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4189477)
If you're the D-Backs and you're (possibly) moving a player because of (hypothetical) injuries, why are you taking a deal whose centerpiece is an OFer who has real and concrete injuries that have him on the DL and out for most of the season?

(a) Depends on the D-Backs motivation
(b) Obviously dependent on a physical of Gardner

I was just trying to think of what ML-ready, young-ish, cheap-ish player the Yanks could trade. But I see Gardner will actually be 29 next year which is a good bit older than I thought. So I'll withdraw that hypothetical.
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4189481)
Hey may not be the new Ken Griffey II, but the fact of the matter is that he's hit well at a young age and even his worst season (this half-season) is a 103 OPS+.

I actually think there's something to be said for top prospects who perform "only" pretty well in their early 20s. There are a fair number of guys like that who turned into stars in their primes (the most out-there example being Josh Hamilton -- and I have to confess to having had too many glasses of wine to think of another one at the moment) who looked like they might be disappointments in their first few years. Some of that is a perception problem: Gary Sheffield was not a SS, but he was a great hitter, and his early troubles don't negate that, for example.

The thing about Upton is that he's having an off year and still has an OPS+ over 100, and he's still very young. Like I said, you may not be getting the next Griffey if you acquire him, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were 3-5 years of 160 OPS+'s in his future.
   30. tjm1 Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4189496)
Upton might be the next Griffey, or he might be the next Ellis Valentine. Towers has a pretty good track record of talent evaluation. Unless I were pretty sure that it was just the rumored personnlity conflict between Upton and upper management, and that that was something that would go away when Upton was traded, I don't think I'd trade for him.
   31. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:35 AM (#4189499)
I may be crazy but i think the cubs should get in on upton. He could be a center peice for them for a long time
   32. Sweatpants Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:47 AM (#4189504)
Upton might be the next Griffey, or he might be the next Ellis Valentine. Towers has a pretty good track record of talent evaluation. Unless I were pretty sure that it was just the rumored personnlity conflict between Upton and upper management, and that that was something that would go away when Upton was traded, I don't think I'd trade for him.
I was gonna disagree with this and say that Upton is way better than Valentine was. I wouldn't have guessed that they were actually about the same through age 24.
   33. tjm1 Posted: July 23, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4189511)
I was gonna disagree with this and say that Upton is way better than Valentine was. I wouldn't have guessed that they were actually about the same through age 24.


Yeah, there are more guys than you think who were really good in their early 20's, and never developed beyond that level. Upton's older brother is one, too, of course. BJ Upton is a fine player, and you could easily win a championship with him in centerfield, but when he was 22 he looked like he could become the next Willie Mays, and now he looks more like the next Brian McRae.
   34. MM1f Posted: July 23, 2012 at 03:47 AM (#4189512)
Yeah, there are more guys than you think who were really good in their early 20's, and never developed beyond that level. Upton's older brother is one, too, of course. BJ Upton is a fine player, and you could easily win a championship with him in centerfield, but when he was 22 he looked like he could become the next Willie Mays, and now he looks more like the next Brian McRae.


This speaks more to the unpredictability of baseball than it does any fault of Justin Upton's. Most guys don't reach stardom, they windup as merely solid.

Justin Upton might be more likely to have a solid but unspectacular career than a superstar career but he is also one of the most likely guys in his age group to become a superstar.
   35. tjm1 Posted: July 23, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4189935)
Justin Upton might be more likely to have a solid but unspectacular career than a superstar career but he is also one of the most likely guys in his age group to become a superstar.


I'm not sure we can still say that. Look at his top 10 comparables on BBREF. Eight of them faded quickly. The other two are Jack Clark and Boog Powell, who are hard to call really comparable.

That combined with his inconsistency and his team seeming to be desperate to trade him make me think that he's a huge risk.

He's not remotely like Cabrera or Pujols or ARod were at the same age. On the other hand, among players born in 1987, only Austin Jackson has a higher career WAR (because of defense) and only Buster Posey is clearly a better player.
   36. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4189958)
I may be crazy but i think the cubs should get in on upton. He could be a center peice for them for a long time


In theory, I agree, but given what the Cubs are trying to do and what I assume the D-Backs are looking to do in an Upton trade, I can't see how they could line up a trade that makes sense for both teams.
   37. tjm1 Posted: July 23, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4189975)
In theory, I agree, but given what the Cubs are trying to do and what I assume the D-Backs are looking to do in an Upton trade, I can't see how they could line up a trade that makes sense for both teams.


Starlin Castro for Upton plus another player might work for both teams - a challenge trade. What's the fallout in Chicago like over Castro's off-season rape charge? How would that play PR-wise in Arizona?
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4189994)
I'm not sure we can still say that. Look at his top 10 comparables on BBREF. Eight of them faded quickly. The other two are Jack Clark and Boog Powell, who are hard to call really comparable.
Those comparables are a fun toy, not an actually useful data set. The fact that Boog Powell makes the list is kind of proof.

Justin Upton has five plus tools on the baseball field, and scouts have projected him to be a superstar since he was legally able to drive. He might not get any better than this - baseball is unpredictable - but I'd much rather have Justin Upton than a player with a similar statistical track record but lesser tools and scouting reports.
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 23, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4189995)
What's the fallout in Chicago like over Castro's off-season rape charge?


From what I can tell (I live in Chicago, read the Tribune and watch TV, but never listen to sports radio), absolutely nothing. That said, Castro definitely has his detractors here (mostly for being an airhead at times on the field).
   40. Big fan Posted: July 23, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4190029)
I would love to have Upton on the Yankees, but can we trust the GM not to give away too much?

Maybe we need Upton so folks can stop pining for Melky? (traded for Vazquez. super ugh)




   41. tjm1 Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4190100)
Justin Upton has five plus tools on the baseball field, and scouts have projected him to be a superstar since he was legally able to drive. He might not get any better than this - baseball is unpredictable - but I'd much rather have Justin Upton than a player with a similar statistical track record but lesser tools and scouting reports.


OK - sure. But how much of the hype over Upton comes from the fact that when Justin Upton was finishing high school and entering the draft, his older brother BJ was tearing up AAA as a 20-year old?

For what it's worth, Clark and Powell are the two guys on Upton's comparables list who were the worst athletes. Well, maybe Del Ennis was a worse athlete than Clark. I'm not fit to judge. But the #1 comp was Ruben Sierra, followed by Andruw Jones, Tony Conigliaro, Canseco, Clark, Powell, Juan Gonzalez, Cesar Cedeno, Ennis and Francoeur. That's a bunch of guys who mostly fizzled out who had great starts to their careers. Sierra had his last really good year at age 25, but managed to hang around, mostly as a replacement-level player, until he was 40. Sierra ran and threw well at a young age. What these guys all shared as young players was a poor strikeout-to-walk ratio. Clark and Powell started to draw more walks, and kept their careers going. The rest of these guys did neither.
   42. rlc Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4190105)
YES reporting Yanks are in on Ichiro!
   43. rlc Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4190108)
Like, to the tune of DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.
   44. JE (Jason) Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4190114)
YES reporting Yanks are in on Ichiro!

It's a done deal.
   45. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4190123)
Ichiro Suzuki: the poor man's Brett Gardner.

it's a strange world we live in....
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4190129)
But how much of the hype over Upton comes from the fact that when Justin Upton was finishing high school and entering the draft, his older brother BJ was tearing up AAA as a 20-year old?
It really doesn't. Even when Bossman Junior was topping the prospect lists, scouts were talking about how his younger brother was the true star in the family. The hype on Justin Upton has always been the real thing.

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