What Would You Trade for Justin Upton?

Considering that this offseason is likely to be almost exciting as last year for Mets fans, I’d like to spice things up by posing questions to you periodically in a series titled “Would You …?”. The questions may be realistic, unrealistic, or completely ridiculous. This series would be kind of like fantasy baseball — complete fiction — and intended to open your mind and spark discussion.

Let’s begin with this conversation starter for you: “Would You trade Ruben Tejada and Jonathon Niese for Justin Upton?”

Again, never mind that this will never happen. It’s meant to get your brain going and your emotions rolling. What say you? Do you make such a deal? Why or why not? Do you adjust the trade by adding/subtracting players on either/both sides?

Ball is in your court — go!

Perhaps this can be a series we run all winter, in which I pose a question and you answer it.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan Capwell November 8, 2012 at 8:14 am
    Only if they include Trevor Bauer as well. Upton is still due $38.5 M. Toss out his big 2011 season and he is about average offensively. We’ve been down so long it looks like up to us, I guess.
    • Dan November 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm
      I wouldn’t want Bauer until he learns how to pitch, which may require a larger dose of failure than he had last year before he realizes that what got him to AAA ball isn’t enough. Skaggs would be my preference, but I doubt they would bite.
  2. DaveSchneck November 8, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Joe,
    No. Reasoning – Jon Niese is a quality MLB lefty that is young, affordable, and under control for several years. There is a chance he can be even better. The Mets have no left starter with MLB potentail anywher in their organization, and after 2013 when Santana departs, Niese will be the lone lefty SP. I would only deal him for a young, affordable, controllable position player that has shown he can perform at or just short of all-star caliber in a premium position. Upton does not meet these requirements. Yes, he is young with a ton of potential, but he is costly and hasn’t shown consistent all-star caliber offensive performance in a very hitter-friendly home park. I’d prefer to go SF Giants style, hoard as much pitching as possible and patchwork the offense with players that can catch the ball, throw to the right base, and run the bases well. You know, those things you always refer to that make or break at least half of the games played.
  3. Dan B November 8, 2012 at 10:41 am
    As much as I advocate trading Tejada while his value is high, I want a better player then Upton if I am trading Niese, even if it means the Mets have to sweeten the pot. Or how about Wheeler and Tejada for Upton? (I am going to get killed for that suggestion).
    • Andrew November 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm
      trading wheeler for anything short of Felix Hernandez is a terrible idea, so yes, you deserved to get flamed for that suggestion. Wheeler is your #1 building block for the future of the team, his ceiling appears to be higher than Upton’s and he’s cheaper/controllable.
      • Joe Janish November 12, 2012 at 9:02 am
        I remember when Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen, and Bill Pulsipher were the Mets #s 1,2, and 3 building blocks. (With Butch Huskey and Alex Ochoa numbers four and five.)
  4. Mike B November 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    I would not trade Tejada for a outfielder. SS’s are to hard to find. We will have the same problem as we do at catcher. I would much rather trade prospects and we do have some then proven mlb talent especially a SS and a lefty.
  5. SiddFinch November 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm
    On the surface acquiring a 25 yr. old All-Star level talent corner OF is a no-brainer. However, Upton’s home/away splits are trending poorly the past two seasons. Also, historically, the Mets have lousy luck when going after OFer’s like Upton. In the past quarter century the only “power bat” in-his-prime OF trade that’s worked out was Kevin McReynolds. In fact, in team history, with exception of probably the Hernandez and Carter deals, the Mets fare poorly when making trades like this.
    • Joe Janish November 12, 2012 at 9:00 am
      Why should history play a role in trades?
  6. Mike Kelm November 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm
    I’d say no. If we were a serious playoff contender, if we were truly one or two players away and this was the deal, I’d say yes. But we aren’t. As exciting and gifted and young as Upton is, Ruben Tejada might have been the biggest suprise of the team this past year and was a viable leadoff hitter (although I think long term he hits either second or sixth/seventh) whow as able to get on base, hit some doubles, show some speed, and be a solid middle infielder. Jonathan Neise was a solid number 2 pitcher (although he probably projects out to a number 3) and is still very young.

    The other piece of the equation is Lucas Duda. If Duda can split the difference between his solid 2011 campaign and his below average 2012 campaign, he’d probably be .265 with 20-25 HR and 80 RBIs, which while not in the same class as Upton, would be good protection in the 5 hole.

    So if it was an option to trade either Neise or Tejada for Upton, I’d do it, but not both.

  7. taskmaster4450 November 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    Not much. I am not sold Upton is all that terrific. Sure he is better than what the Mets have but he isnt the All Star that the trade will command. He hits in a very friendly park so his number would plummet in Citi Field. To give up a guy like Niese is not worth it.

    Upton for Duda I would do.

    • Mike B November 9, 2012 at 10:27 am
      Oh you would do Upton for Duda? Would you also be willing to trade Justin Turner for Robinson Cano?
      • Joe Janish November 12, 2012 at 8:58 am
        NO WAY! Turner is a hustler and Cano is lazy!

        ;-)

  8. Reese November 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm
    My preference would be Dickey for Eaton. He’s a career .355 hitter in the minors who has stolen as many as 44 in a season while playing CF. The D’Backs get a terrific pitcher and the Mets get a CF for the future plus another $4.5 million of salary to spend on other needs.
  9. Joe November 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm
    No and various reasons were provided why not.
  10. Andrew November 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    I guess everyone’s thinking about Upton, I e-mailed the same query to the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff this morning. He felt that the Mets don’t have enough to acquire him.

    Personally, yes, I would trade Niese/Tejada for Upton. The Mets have SP depth and they desperately need right-handed power in the OF. In a mediocre year, Upton hit .280 and 17 HR. His salary is a little higher than Niese’s but so is his ceiling.

    I’d make that trade and sign Cody Ross as well, which completes your OF. You then have to find a SS to replace Tejada, who I like a lot but who is not a sure thing major league level hitter.