The Diamondbacks have been dangling Justin Upton on the trading block since the July 31 deadline, so they have a pretty good idea of what teams are willing to offer for the talented young outfielder.
And it doesn’t seem like they’re expecting a match.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports heard from a source this weekend that there is a “90 percent chance” Upton will open the 2013 season with Arizona. “I think there’s a very high likelihood Justin will be in our starting outfield when we start the new season,” Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick added when asked.
The Rangers seemed like a potential suitor, but they informed the D’Backs at the general meetings earlier this month that they were not willing to include either of their two young shortstops — Jurickson Profar or Elvis Andrus — in a trade. The Diamondbacks want young staring pitching and a young infielder.
Upton, 25, batted .280/.335/.430 with 17 home runs, 18 stolen bases and 67 RBI in 150 games this past season. He is owed $9.75 million in 2013, then $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.