Mets Trade Rumors: Diamondbacks' Justin Upton May Be Available

Could Justin Upton be available?

While not actively shopping their star right fielder, the Arizona Diamondbacks will reportedly listen to offers for 24-year-old Justin Upton. Upton is signed to a somewhat-team-friendly contract through 2015 and is owed $38.5 million over the three seasons beyond this one. His salaries for 2012-2015 look like this:

2012: $6.75 million
2013: $9.75 million
2014: $14.25 million
2015: $14.5 million

Upton is a .276/.357/.477 hitter for his career and hit a career best .289/.369/.529 in 2011, though he's struggling in the power department this season. His Isolated Power (ISO, or slugging percentage minus batting average) is by far the lowest as a big leaguer:

2008: .213
2009: .232
2010: .170
2011: .240
2012: .128

Upton's walk and strikeout rates are right in line with previous seasons, so maybe it's just an aberration that he's not hitting for any power this year. Kids in their mid-twenties don't usually see their power disappear overnight.

The larger issue with an Upton-to-the-Mets scenario is that, notwithstanding his disappointing 2012 season so far, acquiring Upton would mean a considerable collection of talent heading back to Arizona. That almost certainly means a conversation that begins with — but doesn't necessarily end with — one of the Mets' top pitching prospects, Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey. You can probably also throw Lucas Duda into that deal since Upton would take his spot in right.

Not that this swap is in the offing, but who would be interested in sending Harvey, Duda, and then some to the Diamondbacks for a superstar talent like Justin Upton?

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