UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Rangers, Mariners and Braves have all expressed strong interest in Upton.
4:02 PM: It’s been a while since Justin Upton rumors were swirling, so Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are “very much open again to talking about trading Upton with other teams.”
That’s some interesting language from Olney and falls pretty short of saying Arizona is actively shopping Upton or even actively fielding offers on Upton. But considering reports like that have been surfacing every month or so for going on two years now none of it is surprising.
After the Diamondbacks basically came out of nowhere to sign Cody Ross it seemed obvious that they’d be moving an outfielder, and Upton or Jason Kubel are the leading candidates.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.