Sunday, July 15, 2012

What's up with J-Up?

Should the Pirates trade Starling Marte and Jameson Taillon for Justin Upton?  It's tantalizing, but no thanks. 

First of all, what is the reason behind Arizona's supposed interest in dealing him?  He's only 24, for crying out loud. That's hard to believe. Why would they want to deal him?

Is Upton healthy?  Why is he having a bad season?  Why is he unhappy?  And why, oh WHY, would Arizona be shopping this guy, a 24-year-old All-Star-caliber outfielder who is under contract for the next three years?  

What's going on out there?  He's getting booed, his defense is brutal, and he's having a lousy season, but he was in the running for the National League MVP last year.  Does Arizona's management team know something we don't?   It doesn't make sense. Buyer beware, caveat emptor, e pluribus unum and all that.

It also runs contrary to the message we hear all the time from Neal Huntington when he talks about "the player being under control" for the next six years or whatever.  Granted, Justin Upton is signed to a contract through the 2015 season, BUT Starling Marte and Jameson Taillon are "under team control" for at least the next six years AFTER they join the big-league club and their service-time clock starts tickling on eligibility for arbitration.  For that period of time, they will be under team control at relatively bargain rates.

A Peaceable Kingdom
We are also leery of upsetting the chemistry on this Pirates team.  The enthusiasm and joie de vivre on this team right now is something we haven't seen since 1979.  It's authentic, it's organic, and it's catching.
Not that adding more talent would be unwelcome, but IF Pirates management believes Marte is ready, they should bring him up -- although there's every likelihood he will take time to develop into a fully developed major leaguer.  Also, it would be tough to give up on Taillon.  The Pirates have invested a lot in him, and premium pitchers -- if that's what he is -- premium pitchers are hard to come by.

Bottom Line: We don't see it happening.  And, no, Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls wouldn't do it. We are hoarding our top young prospects.

Footnote: Isn't it amazing how fast Jose Tabata has fallen off the radar screen?