There was a Justin Upton rumor earlier this week, and I explained all the ways it didn’t make sense for the Giants. He’s a fine player, but the technicalities and red tape made it far too unlikely.
I was still secretly hoping, though. That’s what I do: tinkle on your hopes and dreams, then retreat to my dark room to have my own hopes and dreams. Alas, it appears as if Upton is coming to a pitcher’s park in California, but not that one.
It would appear that the Angels aren’t requiring closure for Upton’s opt-out clause, which makes sense. He’s a reinforcement for their contending team this year, and if he opts in, he opts in. The Giants were looking for him only as a solution for 2018 and beyond, so they didn’t have any interest of giving up even a C prospect for a meaningless month.
If Upton opts back in, I wouldn’t be super surprised to see the Angels explore the trade market, considering they’re kind of in a Pujols pickle financially, but they’re certainly less likely to trade him than the Tigers were going to be. I don’t think he’ll opt out, which means we’re in for a heapin’ help of J.D Martinez rumors this offseason.
To get Upton, the Angels had to give up their ninth-best prospect, a right-handed starting pitcher named Grayson Long, who was having a solid season in Double-A. The Giants’ equivalent would be Andrew Suarez, I would think considering their farm system is comparable to the Angels’. Would you have traded Suarez for the chance that Upton was going to opt in?
I would not have. And here we are.
The Giants should really let themselves go and have that last piece of cake because they’re going to be in bad shape, regardless of what they do. That plan won’t involve Justin Upton, most likely. Adjust your expectations accordingly.