New Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers isn’t wasting time in trying to remake his hapless team. Rumors are flying that Towers is disgusted with the team’s historic strikeout rate and will try to dump both salary and swings and misses in an attempt to rebuild the roster.
Third baseman Mark Reynolds, he of the ridiculous power and 211 stikeouts in just 145 games, is obviously name No. 1 being mentioned as a piece priced to move. Back in March, Reynolds signed a three-year, $14.5 million contract. Then he proceeded to hit just .198 while belting 32 home runs and knocking in 85 RBI. That followed a 2009 season in which he struck out 223 times, but hit .260 with 40 home runs and 102 RBI. Obviously the 27-year-old Kentuckian is an easy decision for Towers: he has to go.
But now it appears that Towers is also willing to part with one of his most valued young players, former No. 1 overall pick (2005) Justin Upton.
Upton is just 23 years old, but has yet to make it through a full season in the big leagues (108 games in 2008, 138 in 2009 and 133 in 2010) and is another high strikeout guy. In those 133 games this past season, Upton struck out 152 times. He finished the year hitting .273, with 17 home runs and 69 RBI but he also inked a six-year, $51.25 million deal back in March.
In 2009, Upton looked like the next big thing. He hit .300, with 26 home runs and 86 RBI. He’s a five-tool guy who has everything you’d want in a corner outfielder talent-wise.
Towers, who has always been a great evaluator of the talent on his roster, obviously sees something in Upton he doesn’t like as far as the future goes.
The Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox could all be possible destinations for Upton if Towers does continue to pursue a trade. Someone will certainly pay highly for Upton, banking on the fact that he’s young and will develop.
Towers has always been a phenomenal trader, so whoever matches up with him might want to tread carefully.