It’s not THAT the D-Backs traded Upton, it’s why they did it. (AP PHOTO/MATT YORK)
Justin Upton is a very, VERY good baseball player.
Both statistically and by good ol’ eye test analysis.
This is not a matter of debate, even with an “so-so” 2012 season where his offensive numbers took a dip from “Great” into “Above-Average” territory for the first time in his young career. He’s also twenty-five years old… and an multiple time All-Star.
He’s really good at baseball.
This is a player you build your team around. Young, gifted athletes with keen ability to translate their talents into production. He’s also set to be paid at a reasonable amount for a player of his caliber, making ten million this season and fourteen each for the next two. He’s controllable through to age 28, where he’ll draw a lot of interest from around the league, but until then, he’s under contract for some of the best years of his life.
So, it should be no surprise that a team would trade him off because they don’t like the fact he makes it look easy, right? Okay, that’s not entirely fair to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are within their rights to cash in on their assets in order to restock for greener pastures. Certainly, Upton gets you the most bang for your trading buck. Towers is doing the right thing by trading Upton. He’s just trading him for the wrong reason.
I blame whoever translated the terms “grit,” “hustle,” and “heart” into a baseball context for that.