UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Taijuan Walker was in the deal, as well as Nick Franklin and two others.
8:29 PM: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the D-Backs would have received three or four players in return for Upton, including relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor, prospect infielder Nick Franklin and likely one of Taijuan Walker, James Paxton or Danny Hultzen. Alas, no deal.
8:07 PM: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are on Upton’s no-trade list. It’s possible he included some of those teams for leverage, not because he wouldn’t go there. But Seattle doesn’t look like a fit.
7:12 PM: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic confirms Rosenthal’s report and adds that the proposed package from the Mariners was “substantial.”
7:10 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks were in agreement on a trade that would have sent Justin Upton to the Mariners, but that the outfielder rejected the proposed deal.
The Mariners are one of four teams on Upton’s no-trade list. Players often waive their no-trade rights if they are compensated in some way, but it appears that he just doesn’t want to play in Seattle. Of course, coming back to Arizona would now be pretty awkward, too. The Rangers and Braves are still interested, so chances are the D-Backs will continue to shop him.
Rosenthal hears that the Diamondbacks would have received a package of young players in return for Upton, but their identities aren’t known. As our own Matthew Pouliot speculates, it’s likely that names like Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin, Carter Capps and Stephen Pryor could have been discussed.
A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.
Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:
Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .
Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?
That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.
Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?