Justin Upton sounded like he was being shopped recently, but that’s over now:
The trade rumors surrounding Justin Upton won’t officially die until the July 31 trading deadline passes, but they were all but put to rest by Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick on Monday.
Kendrick, speaking from his vacation home in Colorado, said it’s a “reasonable assumption” Upton will be a Diamondback the rest of the season. “I think we’re better off with him on our team,” Kendrick said. “I this whole thing has gotten way more attention than it deserves.”
Well, it probably wouldn’t have gotten much attention at all if it hadn’t been kicked off by Kendrick himself, who decided to publicly criticize Upton last month, setting off the trade rumors and speculation. Indeed, at any time since then Kendrick could have said flat-out that the Dbacks weren’t trading Upton and — poof! — it all would have gone away.
But hey, it’s his baseball team. He can run it the way he wants to.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.