It seems that Upton’s days in Arizona are coming to an end. I’m not sure why the Diamondbacks aren’t more patient with their 24-year old star but I’m not complaining. Would a trade with the Red Sox work? The Red Sox have their speedy center fielder for only one more year of arbitration, then his price will skyrocket. If Ellsbury were always healthy, the Diamondbacks might jump at this opportunity to bring in the best position player in the American League last season. The problem is that Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t always healthy. I bet throwing Jose Iglesias into the deal could seal it.
For the Red Sox, Upton would be great. He’d be a power bat in the middle of the lineup for years to come. He’s signed through 2015. The problem with Ellsbury is that his skill sets at the plate are redundant with Carl Crawford. Even though Ellsbury is the better player, Crawford will be impossible to deal and his contract will make it tough to re-sign Jacoby. So Crawford can slide back to the top of the order where he was for Tampa. Followed by Pedroia, Upton, Ortiz, Gonzalez, Middlebrooks, Saltalamacchia, Ross, and Aviles. I’m not sure if Upton can play center, but I bet he can. If he can’t, Ross would platoon with the other outfielders. Upton may not get the stolen bases that Ellsbury does, but he will give you better power. Ellsbury has peaked at age 28, and Upton is still getting better. Jacoby did have 32 home runs last year, but I see that as an outlier.
For the Diamondbacks, they get a star back for the one they gave up. For some reason they don’t like Upton, maybe Ellsbury is more what they want. Ellsbury can be the leadoff hitter that Arizona lacks. Right now the Diamondbacks are starting Willie Bloomquist as leadoff, he has a .317 career OBP compared to Ellsbury’s .354. Bloomquist also has 6 stolen bases while getting thrown out 8 times. The rest of the DBacks lineup would be Hill, Montero, Kubel, Goldschmidt, Young, Drew, Roberts, and the pitcher. Young can slide over to right, as Ellsbury is a better defender.
To sweeten the deal the Red Sox throw in Jose Iglesias. Although I love Iglesias, he’ll be a better NL player. There is a mutual option on Stephen Drew for 10 million dollars, which the DBacks might not pick up. The Diamondbacks system doesn’t have a shortstop that’s ready to take over. That player could be Iglesias. With Upton’s $14.5 mil a year off the books and Stephen Drew’s contract, maybe the DBacks could even re-sign Ellsbury, if they like what he gives them.
I’m not saying that this deal will happen, but Ben Cherington should at least make the call. Jacoby is coming back tonight, so it’s only a matter of time before he hurts himself again, so make the call. Would you trade Ellsbury for Upton?