The rumors concerning Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton just keep coming. Over the past couple days, there have been a wide range of teams that have supposedly expressed interest in him: the Giants, Indians, Braves, Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, Royals, and Nationals. Or in other words, almost everyone.
For what it’s worth, the Nationals have been the most talked about possible landing spot for Upton. But I remain somewhat skeptical that a deal with them will work out…and no, it’s not because they traded for Jonny Gomes last night. The problem seems to be that the Nats and Rays are far apart on a package:
The Nationals have balked at trading pitchers Ross Detwiler or Brad Peacock for Upton, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Umm, really. Detwiler and Peacock are fine prospects and they would make good spare parts in a trade, but Upton by himself should still be worth more than just the two of them. Neither of them reached Baseball America’s preseason Top 100 ranking, and considering that the Rays are driving Upton’s value up and up, I’ve got to imagine he brings back at least one player within the Top 100. Detwiler is a 25-year-old reliever that’s posted mediocre numbers in Triple-A, and Peacock is a 23-year-old starter that just reached Triple-A and has moderate upside. If the Nationals are balking at trading those two players…well, then they’re even worse of a match than I thought initially.
Of course, it’s worth remember that when the Rays are concerned, you never really know what’s going to happen. Rumors can be swirling about one team, but then the Rays end up actually trading with someone nobody had on the radar. They may say they’re not going to sign a $7 million closer, but then they go and trade for Rafael Soriano. So as always, it’s best to remain skeptical and wait to see what shakes up.