Reports were released on Wednesday that the Diamondbacks are actively shopping two of the team's star players. Trevor Bauer, who was in the big leagues for just a few games last year before being sent back down to AAA Reno, is said to be on the market. Joining him is outfielder Justin Upton, who has unarguably had some inconsistencies since joining the Diamondbacks major league team in 2007.
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers refuted these reports, saying that they are not actively shopping either player. However, he did mention that if someone calls about them, then the team is more than willing to listen to any offers made. Not a ringing endorsement for two corner pieces of your franchise.
In Bauer's 4 starts with the Diamondbacks last season, he pitched for a 1-2 record and an ERA above 6. But that wasn't the main issue with the young pitcher. There were reports that he was disliked in the clubhouse and that he could not get on the same page from the mound with catcher Miguel Montero. That, coupled with his odd pregame routine and attitude that he carries make him a dispensable piece.
Bauer is quite obviously a 'my way or the highway' type of player, which is not something the Diamondbacks need for their young, budding team. Players that are flexible and willing to go out and do as their manager requests will find spots on this roster, not the indignant ones.
Bauer could bring back a nice package, too. He is a young pitcher with loads of potential. A team that is looking to add a young pitcher that can be part of the top of their rotation for years to come will surely surrender plenty of prospects in the hopes that they can change his way of thinking. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic suggested that the Indians may be willing to part with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to get their hands on Bauer.
So go ahead, D-Backs. Deal Bauer. But leave Upton right where he is.
Justin Upton, a former first selection in the MLB Draft, is the type of player clubs dream of building their franchises around. He has speed to get around the bases, speed in the outfield, power to blast a ball a mile out of the park and an arm to get the ball to home plate without it bouncing even once. Oh, and he is willing to do as he is asked.
This marks the third cycle of rumors stating that the D-Backs are shopping Upton. Whether or not they can even bring him back at this point given how many times they have spit in his face is for another discussion. What is clear is that they obviously aren't impressed with him.
Even when manager Kirk Gibson benched him for a few consecutive games because he was unhappy with Upton's production, Justin still took the field, doing as his team instructed. He is a team player.
Although, he has been somewhat inconsistent. In 2011, he was near the top for MVP voting. He hit 31 homers with 88 RBI's and a respectable .289 batting average. Those numbers dipped in 2012 when he hit just 17 home runs, 67 RBI's and a .280 average. But he wasn't the only player that had a down year. Ian Kennedy was not nearly as effective from the mound. Chris Young, after injuring himself in April, saw a decline in production. It just wasn't the team's year.
So does that warrant the team trading their best player, despite the fact that they would likely bring in a more than adequate haul for him? If Upton were a free agent, he would be the most coveted player in baseball this winter. That is how highly regarded the young man is. At at the age of 24, teams know that they can be patient in waiting on his development. The Diamondbacks have apparently grown wary of doing just that.
But they shouldn't. He is the type of player that, in the right frame of mind and with the correct managing strategies, can go off for a monster year. You can tell that he is just ready to break out. And right before he does, the Diamondbacks are willing to trade him?
Again, D-Backs. Trade Bauer. He is replaceable. But Upton? You might want to think twice before you push a player with superstar potential out the door. Hopefully, for Arizona's sake, it isn't already too late.