BY SPNW Staff 08:13AM 01/11/2013

Reports: Justin Upton Nixes Trade To Mariners

According to a report by and confirmed by The Arizona Republic, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton used the no-trade clause in his contract to nix a proposed trade that would have sent him to the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners were reportedly willing to send a “substantial package” of players to the Diamondbacks in order to acquire Upton, a two-time All-Star.

The 25-year-old Upton finished fourth in National League Most Valuable Players voting in 2011, but tailed off last season when he hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs. Arizona GM Kevin Tower has been sifting through offers for Upton throughout the offseason, and the Mariners are in the market to add offense.

They ranked last in virtually every batting category in the American League last season, including runs scored and on-base percentage.

The package reportedly included arguably the two best prospects in the Mariners’ farm system, pitcher Tijuan Walker and shortstop Nick Franklin, along with young relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, both of whom pitched in Seattle last season.

Besides the cost in talent, Upton signed a six-year, $51.25 million contract extension with Arizona in March 2010. It still has three years and $38.5 million remaining. He will be paid $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.

“We have an interest in improving our club any way we can,” Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik told ESPN in an e-mail this week, while declining to specifically identify his interest in Upton. “We have had a lot of dialogue regarding offense, but we would be open to anything.”

The Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves have also been mentioned as potential landing spots for Upton, who became expendable when the Diamondbacks signed free agent Cody Ross recently to a three-year deal worth $26 million.

Upton’s repudiation is another blow to the Mariners, who have yet to make a splashy off-season move. They have attempted to improve their offense with the acquisitions of injury-plagued OF Jason Bay, 40-year-old OF Raul Ibanez, now a three-time Mariner, and Kendrys Morales, obtained in a trade with the Angels for Jason Vargas.

But in the free agent market, they lost out early on Torii Hunter and were outbid for Josh Hamilton by the Angels.



  • maqman

    He wasn’t worth the package to me, not that I’m a GM. I just think Upton is overrated and he would be worth less playing in The Safe. Given that his cost is nearly $13MM a season for three seasons yet we shouldn’t be giving up Walker and Franklin and two good relievers for his talent level, that smacks of desperation and I didn’t think Z would go that far. Not that I’d like to see him go to Texas as he would be worth it in their bandbox ball park probably. The team as it is now is going to play .500 or better depending on breaks but not likely to contend this coming season so why go wacko now. Sort out the keepers and hole fillers and go wacko next off season. This team is going to be more interesting this season already.

    • Tian Biao

      I totally agree with maqman and jafabian. He’s a National Leaguer, his numbers are declining, and his attitude is questionable. Plus, Z doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to trading pitchers for outfielders. and yes, it smacks of desperation. I’m glad this one fell through.

  • jafabian

    Waaaay too much for an NL hitter. He hit .280 and had 17 HR’s last year which could translate to .250 and 11 as a Mariner, even with the fences moved in. Better to bring up players from the farm who don’t know any better and are willing to work at being a better hitter than to complain about how the AL and Safeco Field aren’t compatitble to their hitting style. I wish the M’s would be going after some starting pitching like Kyle Loshe who’s still available.

  • effzee

    Can’t blame a guy for wanting to play for a winner. I know if I was an athlete, I would want to go to a place with other good players around me and a chance of actually competing at a high level, as opposed to having the pressure of being the one to turn around a franchise which has been amongst the worst run in all of sports for all but 4 of the last 30 years.

  • notaboomer

    has there been a bourne ultimatum yet?

  • maqman

    May the baseball gods protect us from a Bourn Conspiracy with Boras. He would be better than Figgins but that’s not much of an accomplishment and half way through his contract the resemblance would increase significantly. We need bats not legs.
    Evidently Milton Bradley is in training for a boxing career, although he needs some better competition than his ex-wife. He should find it in the slammer trying to retain his virginity.