Justin Upton was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the first overall pick in the 2005 out of high school and went on to play six seasons with the Diamondbacks before stops with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres.
The Padres are sitting in fourth place in the National League West, behind the Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks, and could possibly look to move Upton at the trade deadline. He could be a terrific piece to a contender down the stretch, but would come with a hefty price tag.
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I hope that the Diamondbacks do not give up prospects, which would definitely include Peter O’Brien amongst others, in order to obtain Upton in a trade sometime in July. Instead, the Diamondbacks should go after their former player in free agency after the 2015 season ends (unless he signs an extension with a club that may trade for him).
Upton will be entering his age 28 season next spring and what better way to show Diamondbacks fans that management is ready for the team to contend than to go after Upton and slot him in the lineup in front of Paul Goldschmidt. Give the man a five, six, or seven year contract at $18-$20 million a year and it will not disappoint anyone.
Upton’s numbers have not fallen and just this week he was named to the All-Star Game for the third time in his career. It was also his first All-Star Game appearance in his three seasons away from the Diamondbacks.
This year Upton has played in 87 games for the Padres and has a .253/.331/.422 slash line with 14 HRs and 48 RBIs. On top of this, Upton is 17-for-18 on steal attempts and needs just five more steals to set a career-high in the category. He currently ranks 11th in the MLB in Wins Above Replacement among outfielders (2.95).
It could be a long-shot of reuniting the Diamondbacks and Upton, but man it sure would be a great sight to see.