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.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.