Justin Upton

The Mets were seriously in on Justin Upton

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In the middle of this John Harper column lamenting the state of the Mets outfield, we learn what the Mets were trying to do to improve it:

Alderson wouldn’t go into details, but from all indications there was a time in mid-to-late January when he felt strongly that he was going to land either Justin Upton or Michael Bourn. At that time, according to a club source, the Mets were discussing the possibility of trading Daniel Murphy or even Ruben Tejada, along with some of their younger pitching prospects, to the Diamondbacks for Upton.

In form that was like the Braves’ trade for Upton — major league infielder + pitching prospects for Upton — but neither Murphy nor Tejada is as good as Martin Prado. Without naming the pitching prospects it’s hard to gauge whether they match up to Randall Delgado. And completely out of the equation is how much grit the these guys have, given the Diamondbacks’ grit fetish.

 

Report: Mariners acquire Chris Heston from the Giants

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.

Joe Nathan wants to pitch in 2017

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 16: Joe Nathan #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on August 16, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Mariners 4-2.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.

Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.

According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.