This is my proposal for the 2013 offseason Mets blockbuster trade. It might be unlikely but there is some logic for both teams.
Mets: As the recent weeks have shown, the Mets are still a ways from contention. 2013 is unlikely to be much different - with $40 million tied up in Bay-Santana the chances for expanding payroll are likely still slim. That leaves the team with some major holes and makes 2013 an unlikely year for contention. If you accept that premise, then it makes a lot of sense to trade Wright in the offseason, unless you work out a decent extension. So why trade for Justin Upton?
1) No OF prospects - The Mets impact outfielders are years away, for the most part. There is some hope in Den Dekker and Lagares, but they don't figure to be real impact guys. Bay is washed up. Duda has not proven he can field enough to be a decent corner OF unless his bat really takes off. Niuewenhuis is our only guy we definitely want out there. The rest we can hold out hope for, but can't really plan on. Adding Upton gives us a real big league OF who can possibly be a star.
2) We do have 3B prospects. Right off the bat we can move Dan Murphy to 3B. We can use 2013 to also give Zach Lutz some reps. In 2014 we are holding out hope that Flores or Martes plays himself into the role. We've got a decent shot of getting an OK - good 3B out of our existing major/minor roster.
3) Upton could be as could or better than Wright even in 2013. We'd get three years of hoping he worked out. If he played like a star we might end up getting by far the better of the deal. It's a risk, but a pretty good one.
4) 2013 becomes a real audition year. With Wright out, the pressure is off and we can let Wheeler, Harvey, Lutz, Valdespin, Havens, Murphy, Duda, Den Dekker and anyone else take their shot at proving they belong in the big leagues.
This deal might not work as well for Arizona, unless two things about the club are true. If they are, this trade might work very nicely for them. The two things:
1) Does Arizona think Upton's 2011 season was a fluke? Based on their constant discussions about moving him, they seem to think he will not be that good again anytime soon. Otherwise, there really would be no sense in making a deal. If we assume they are really motivated to move Upton now because they think he is going to keep losing trade value, this deal looks better.
2) Does Arizona want to win now or rebuild? If they want to win now, then trading Upton for prospects is not a very good idea - that leaves them with a very weak line-up. There is a lot of reason to think they would want to win now - Their big league pitching is good right now, they have young hitters in Goldschmidt and Monteros and Young, and the West has been a very winnable division in recent years.
So if Arizona wants to both move Upton and still compete, I can't imagine a better deal than this. They have a huge gap at 3B. I can't think of any other player that might be on the trade market that they could that would be better than Wright. Remember, they've got Goldschmidt at 1B so an 1B trade probably does not work. They likely need a 3B or OF unless someone with a really good 2B/SS wants to trade. What other star player would be on the trading block this offseason besides Wright? I can't think of any.
Of course, the downside to this trade is that you get Wright for 2013, don't win and then lose him in free agency. However, it's also possible the Diamondbacks could make a play to keep him if they win in 2013 and Wright likes playing there and they go into the playoffs, increase attendance and have money for a franchise player.
And ultimately, even though going for it with Wright is a gamble, so is trading Upton for prospects. How many times have you seen a franchise player traded for prospects and none of them pan out? What did the Indians get for Cliff Lee? Nothing of real value. Same for Sabbathia. The Mariners traded Lee for one of the best 1B prospects in the game. He's been demoted back to the minors. Johann Santana? Same story. Sometimes it works, but a lot of the times it does not.
What does everyone think?