Trade Rumors: Upton, Hamilton, Cabrera and Others

Ezra Shaw

Ray Guilfoyle discusses some Hot Stove on a snowy day on the east coast.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Diamondbacks are once again discussing trading their 5 tool outfielder Justin Upton this offseason. The team obviously has some issues with his work ethic, or his shoulder, or his ability to work on his weaknesses, or his #want. I don't know what it is, but they also have a few more outfielders on their roster, but none have the potential, or are the middle of the order bat that Upton is. Some teams mentioned having interest in Upton are the Red Sox, Rangers and four new teams on his no-trade list. How are their four NEW teams on his no-trade list? Anyway, Upton makes the most sense in Texas, and I think he would have a monster season there, in the loaded Rangers lineup.

But, that is too obvious, and I just don't see Upton as a fit in Boston. I do think he is a fit in Philadelphia in a deal for Cliff Lee. The Diamondbacks need an ace starter and Lee certainly fits the bill. Ian Kennedy proved in 2012 that his 2011 season, while very good, was a bit of a fluke. GM Kevin Towers knows he needs to upgrade his rotation to compete with the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West, and the price might be his young outfielder. Here is what he told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick at the GM meetings that started on Wednesday:

Towers said the Diamondbacks would want a "legitimate everyday player" or a "legitimate top-end-of-the-rotation-type starter" in any deal involving Upton.

Lee, as we all know, is a legitimate top end of the rotation type starter. Actually, he's not only a top end of the rotation starter, he is an ace. Upton would be a perfect fit in the lefty heavy Phillies lineup, and his fantasy value could increase slightly with a move to Philly. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is no stranger to making big offseason deals, and this deal would help both teams.

The Indians appear to be in full sell mode, and they could be dealing a trio of players including shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and closer Chris Perez. Perez had a solid season closing games in 2012, but also had a habit of speaking his mind in post game interviews, so he may have worn out his welcome in Cleveland. Perez could be a fit for the Angels, who apparently feel like they need a more established closer even though they have Ernesto Frieri in their pen.

I could see the Braves getting involved in talks for Choo as they have a need for an outfielder, and the Braves have the pitching to deal for Choo. Choo would take over in left field, with Martin Prado moving to third base to replace future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. In return, the Indians could receive a Randall Delgado or Julio Teheran, whose prospect status has taken a hit in 2012.

The Cardinals are not confident that Rafael Furcal will be able to stay healthy in 2013, so they are looking to upgrade at shortstop and are rumored to be talking to the Indians for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Adding Cabrera to the Cardinals lineup would certainly be an upgrade, and here is what their lineup would look like:

C-Yadier Molina

1b-Allen Craig

2b-Daniel Descalso

SS- Asdrubal Cabrera

3b-David Freese

LF-Matt Holliday

CF-John Jay

RF-Carlos Beltran

That would be a productive lineup and probably one of the better lineups in the National League. In return for Cabrera the Cardinals certainly would have to give up a pitching prospect, and a few names that could be bandied about are Trevor Rosenthal, who was dominant out of the pen in the playoffs, and Carlos Martinez.

I was listening to First Pitch with Jim Memolo and Mike Stanton on MLB Radio yesterday morning, and they were discussing possible suitors for Josh Hamilton. One team they mentioned was the Mariners. Seattle just moved in their fences, which could be enticing for a power hitter like Hamilton. Plus, the Mariners may be willing to overpay for Hamilton due to their struggles scoring runs in 2012.

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