Mariners Trade Rumors: M’s Linked To Justin Upton (Again)


The Seattle Mariners have been “rumored” to be on the verge of many deals that never came to fruition over the past couple seasons, so it’s hard to know what to make of this. But the latest Mariners trade rumors have Seattle once again been linked to Justin Upton.

Upton has removed the M’s from his no-trade clause and according to David O’Brien, Seattle will “surely” be making an offer for the 27 year-old outfielder. And reportedly, Taijuan Walker is being talked about in the deal.

Let me get this straight. The Mariners are desperate to get rid of player A, so they can give up possibly the #1 pitching prospect in baseball for player B.

Player A: .273/.341/.405,  1.000 fielding %, 0.4 DWAR, 28 years old

Player B: .270/.342/.491,  .972 fielding %, -0.9 DWAR, 27 years old

Player A would be Michael Saunders, the Mariners current right fielder. Player B is Upton. Saunders has the clear advantage defensively, and their batting numbers are extremely similar, with Saunders playing in one of the worst hitters parks in baseball.

But nevertheless, Jack Zduriencik seems ready to give up one of baseball’s most promising young players to acquire Upton to replace Michael Saunders. Basically, we are trading our #1 prospect for durability in right field. That’s it. Assuming both are healthy, the difference between Justin Upon and Michael Saunders is minimal.

Not to mention how much more cost-effective Saunders is. He was payed $2.3 million last season, compared to the $14.5 million Upton is scheduled to make in 2015. And signing Upton to a long-term deal likely would cost even more. And not signing Upton long-term would be completely nonsensical after giving up six-plus years of Taijuan Walker.

Giving up an elite young pitcher with ace potential who, by the way, is still under team control for six more years, for such a small upgrade in right field is ridiculous. The Mariners are on the verge of something special. It would be a shame if moves like this prevent the M’s from realizing that potential.