In the trade saga known as the Justin Upton Sweepstakes of 2010, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are the two teams that are leading the charge of potential suitors. This should surprise absolutely no one as both teams spend a lot of money and you rarely hear of either team mentioned in free agent or trade talks without the other. They are the dynamic duo of big market, overspending franchises who, like rival siblings, chase each other deeper and deeper into the $200 million payroll rabbit hole.
As Nick Piecoro from the Arizona Republic explained in his fine bit of trade analysis, Justin Upton's value on the market is very much in the eyes of the beholder. Most beholders' eyes, however, do covet the young potential star with plenty of emphasis on potential. As Piecoro explains, with Upton being owed $45.5 million over the next five years, it's a hefty gamble. If he plays great, his salary is a bargain. If he busts out or even underperforms, he's the kind of player whose contract can drag a mid-market or smaller team right into the tank.
The Yankees and Red Sox, however, are positioned to ignore fiscal responsibility in cases like these and go for it.
From the Diamondbacks' perspective, as explained by Bob Nightengale in the USA Today, the Yankee's initial offer was a low ball or the variety formerly thrown by Brandon Webb. It sunk. The Red Sox are still in the mix as of this report, but, as General Manager Kevin Towers stated, this all just part of the kicking-the-tires phase of the process.
"If somebody wants to overpay, I'll be more than willing to listen. It's just a thing where people are kicking the tires right now. That's it," Towers said in statement certainly designed as part of the public negotiation process.