Today in the continuing Justin Upton saga, news broke that the Atlanta Braves had become the frontrunner if a trade were to be consummated. The most informed reporter on the matter seems to be Ken Rosenthal, who has been on top of the story. About an hour ago, Rosenthal mentioned on Twitter that the Braves had been unable to get the Diamondbacks to return their phone calls until recently, when the market for Upton “shrunk.”
Rosenthal posted an article a few minutes ago that offered more insight on the Upton situation. In the article, he noted the following:
The D-Backs are weighing an offer for right fielder Justin Upton from the Atlanta Braves, according to major-league sources. But they renewed contact with the Orioles on Wednesday about a possible deal for left fielder Jason Kubel, and are weighing their options, sources said.
Drawing from the above quote, it’s apparent that there isn’t a Taijuan Walker type package on the table from Atlanta, and there certainly isn’t a Zack Wheeler caliber pitcher in the deal. Rosenthal suggested that any Braves/Diamondbacks deal for Upton would likely be centered around “young arms.” He also mentioned that Arizona likes Braves prospect Evan Gattis, a 26 year old outfielder who has yet to appear above AA.
It’s unclear whether the “young arms” Rosenthal is referring to are Major Leaguers (Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, etc), or pitchers in Atlanta’s Minor League system. Still, it looks like Atlanta’s offer is one the Mets can and should trump. If I were the Mets, I’d be willing to part with any prospects besides Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, and Matt Harvey. Given that the Braves don’t have a prospect the caliber of Wheeler or Harvey, the Mets should be able to pull this off.
If the Braves’ offer to Arizona is centered around Minor or Medlen, the Mets could counter by offering Jonathon Niese. If the Braves’ offer is centered around Minor League pitchers, the Mets should offer some combination of Michael Fulmer, Noah Syndergaard, Domingo Tapia, and Rafael Montero. After that, the rest of the pieces that would have to be included could fall into place.
Again, it doesn’t sound as if the Braves’ current offer for Upton will get it done. The Mets have what it takes to land Upton. It’s time to get involved again and snag him.