Could Justin Upton Be Headed North of the Border?
English: Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos is known in the Jays sub-culture as the “Silent Assassin”. Anthopoulos works in complete silence and preys on General Managers looking to shop disgruntled players who have fallen out of the good graces of their manager.
Case in point July 14th, 2010 Anthopoulos acquired the swagger filled shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for an aging Alex Gonzales, Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins. Escobar desperately needed a change of scenery after being criticized for not hustling and his inability to grasp the English language. Escobar put on his big boy pants and happily came to Toronto and rejuvenated his career in 2011.
Almost a year to the day Anthopoulos uses the White Sox as a prop to lure Colby Rasmus from the grips of the evil Tony Larussa Empire. The Jays shipped bullpen pieces in that of Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski, starter Edwin Jackson and utility player Corey Patterson in exchange for the battered Rasmus. The deal did shore up the Cardinals bullpen for their World Series pursuit however Rasmus is one of the game’s premier talents. Rasmus arrived in Toronto after a lengthy bitter divorce with Larussa and company in which he was publicly criticized for being a “Daddies Boy”.
So this takes me back to my original point as we sit nearly a week away from the trade deadline. Trade rumors have been swirling like desert tumbleweed in Arizona in regards to superstar outfielder Justin Upton. Justin is engulfed in a terrible season and appears to have grown tired of the Diamondbacks and the sweltering Arizona heat.
On cue in comes the “Silent Assasin” with his prospect laden farm system and his keen eye for controllable talent with huge upside. Upton would give the Blue Jays arguably the best outfield in the majors with Rasmus, Bautista and Upton. The move would make the likes of Anthony Gose, Travis Snider and Eric Thames expendable with Gose being a nice piece to center the deal around. The Diamondbacks are also rumored to be seeking help on the left side of the infield where the Jays could dangle either Escobar or defensive whiz Adeiny Hechavarria.
Regardless of what transpires the trade deadline is shaping up to be one of the busiest in recent years. Toronto Blue Jays fans will hold their collective breath hoping the Assassin can once again rescue a disgruntled star and nurture him back to health north of the border.
Clayton Richer is a baseball writer for Baseball Hot Corner, his interviews and blogs can be found daily at www.baseballhotcorner.com as well you can also follow him on twitter @MLBHotCorner