Would D-Backs Trade Upton for Andrus
With the recent trade of Stephen Drew to Oakland, and no clear-cut shortstop of the future in their farm system, the Diamondbacks will have a need at the position heading into 2013, and Elvis Andrus is expendable in Texas because of shortstop phenom Jurickson Profar.
Considering what each club is in the market for, it is obvious that the Rangers and Diamondbacks are ideal trade partners when the Hot Stove League begins.
The Diamondbacks already have Jason Kubel and Chris Young as established Major League starting outfielders. The 25-year-old Gerardo Parra is the team’s fourth outfielder and has the offensive and defensive tools to replace Upton, or the team could pursue an outside option since it is free of the contracts of Drew and the recently traded Joe Saunders.
Since it appears the Rangers are not interested in retaining Hamilton, who will require a significant long-term investment, and they could lose Mike Napoli, it is sure to be an active off-season for Nolan Ryan’s club. Cruz and Young will be in the final years of their contracts in 2013. Ryan Dempster, the right-handed starting pitcher who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Cubs, will be a free agent at season’s end.
Andrus would give the Diamondbacks a lift since 21-year-old Chris Owings is a promising prospect, but the club is uncertain if he is the long-term answer at shortstop. Jake Elmore, another talented infielder who is currently sharing shortstop duties in Arizona with veteran John McDonald, is considered a utility player or a second baseman for the long term.
While the Rangers might feel moved to trade Andrus because Profar is projected to have a higher ceiling and he is rapidly climbing the farm system, the Diamondbacks don’t necessarily have to find Upton a new home. The 25-year-old right-hander – who is hitting .275 with 10 home runs, 51 RBI, 13 stolen bases and a .762 OPS – is signed through 2015. He will receive $9.75 million next season, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
The 24-year-old Andrus – who has a .297 average with two home runs, 51 RBI, six triples and 19 stolen bases – is signed through 2014 and is owed $4.8 million next season and $6.475 million in 2014.