Justin Upton is an emerging star that will fit quite nicely in the Red Sox cast. The price you ask? I believe it is Jacoby Ellsburry, Daniel Bard and Casey Kelly. If Epstein has an ounce of baseball intelligence, he'll pull the trigger on this deal and never look back. The addition of Upton, a potential 30-30 man in Fenway park, would not only make great baseball sense, it would also help stimulate the fan base that has grown bored with Theo's recent, conservative transactions. It's been awhile since the adjective "bold" has been attached to an Epstein player transaction and it's showing in the TV ratings. Upton would be step one in recapturing the mind and hearts of Red Sox nation.
For those of you who might argue that the price tag is too high I say extract yourself from the front office propoganda. Ellsburry is a fleet footed outfielder who can steal bases. Base stealing, however, is only valuable in fantasy baseball. Ellsburry doesn't score as many runs as one would expect of a lead off hitter with speed. The man has flash but little substance. Bard, on the other hand, is the real deal and will be a closer within the next year or two. That said, the Twins lost, arguably, one of the top 5 closers in baseball last year, Joe Nathan, and yet, still won the Central Division. Closers are over rated. Besides, how many 100 mph flame throwers remain healthy for 5 plus years? Lastly, Kelly is a prospect who struggled in the minors in 2010. He's certainly appears to be talented but so have a number of prospects in the past who are, today, pumping gas or super sizing meals.
This is a deal that makes a lot of sense for both teams. The Diamondbacks need to upgrade in a number of areas and this deal would do it for them in players and salary relief. For the Red Sox, it would not only put a potent bat in the mix with Pedroia, Youkilis and Ortiz, it would rekindle the passion New Englanders have for their beloved Red Sox.
Let's hope Theo doesn't get nosed out of this deal by Cashman......