CBS Radio reporter Jen Royle cites a source who says that Rays GM Andrew Friedman & Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr are "trying to work out a deal for B.J. Upton." She also says that Nationals remain interested in the 26 year Rays outfielder.
Upton is only signed through next season, so while he is still young, he has already accumulated six years of MLB service because he debuted so young. He isn’t a flat out rental like Carlos Beltran, but he’s also not a long term solution, unless of course the Phils were to re-up him.
But would they want to do that? After great showings in 07 and 08, Upton has regressed. This year he’s hitting only .229 and getting on base at a .310 clip. He is a good defensive player and has a ton of speed, but he also strikes out a lot, isn’t a great contact hitter and has had his share of discipline problems. Rays skipper Joe Madden has twice had to bench Upton for lack of hustle and last year he was involved in a dugout shouting match with Evan Longoria after the 3B confronted Upton about loafing on a fly ball.
Upton’s tools are as good as any player in baseball, but he’s not a prospect anymore. He’s a player with six years of big league experience and he’s a .258 career hitter. The Rays are going to ask for a big package in return and they’ve shown that they’re a team that usually wins these types of trades. So while Upton could be an elite player just entering his prime, he could also be just what he is now… It’s a risky move.