Monday trade deadline update: Upton rumors abound
UPDATE, 8:46: Maddon says (as he told XM/Sirius also) he's discussed 64-66 trade scenarios w/Andrew Friedman + NONE involved James Shields. .. Also, Rays president Matt Silverman - who was not in Kansas City - has joined the team for the rest of this trip.
UPDATE, 7:30: Upton - literally - shook his head over all the rumors flying on Monday, repeating what he said Sunday about just wanting the situation resolved. His reaction to the excessive speculation? "I got nothing,'' he said.
DEVELOPING: CF B.J. Upton has been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of the Rays-related trade rumors today. It's going to be that way until he is dealt, or Sunday's 4 p.m. deadline for non-waiver deals.
If the amount of interest being reported is anywhere close to the reality, and the Rays can get the kind of top-shelf young players they typically want, he would seem likely to be traded. Among the teams being mentioned - the Giants, Phillies and Nats, as well as a couple less expected - the Royals and Pirates.
Why trade Upton?
Obviously his salary - which is likely to jump into the $7-million range next season - in comparison to his inconsistent production is one of the issues the Rays are looking at.
Replacing him in the field and the lineup is another, with Desmond Jennings obviously the leading candidate.
And there is also this - the Rays have have several conversations with Upton and his reps about a long-term deal, and the fact that they haven't worked out a deal would make it obvious to the Rays that he is going to leave as a free agent after next season anyway. So unless they they think they could get more during the off-season or at the 2012 trade deadline, it makes sense for them to move forward now if they get the proper return.
The amount of speculation is extreme, with reports coming from all sides, and occasionally contradictory, as was the case today with a series of Twitter posts from Baltimore-area radio reporter Jen Royle (Jen_Royle):
At about noon Eastern, Baltimore-area radio reporter Jen Royle (Jen_Royle) posted on Twitter:
Source: Friedman & Amaro are trying to work out a deal for BJ Upton... Nats interest still high. #Rays #Phillies
Then two hours later she posted:
PHILLIES SOURCE: No interest in BJ Upton. NONE.
Then an hour later:
Gun to my head: Phillies truly have no interest in Upton -- Rays trying to drive up price for Cleveland and DC. My gut says he'll be a Nat.
And then shortly after that:
MLB source: BJ Upton will be a Nat
So which of those is correct? In another post, she wrote:
Can't make any promises on Upton. I don't have a crystal ball. Just relaying messages from sources