Originally Posted by RED VAN HOT
I am not a big Justin Upton fan. He is at best, an average defender at a corner OF position. My sense is that he is a good offensive player who will never quite live up to the greatness one expects of a #1 overall pick. Kevin Towers is a very smart GM. Upton's name would not be out there over the last year if Towers saw him as a future elite hitter around which a team could be built. My guess is that Towers is willing to sell high on Upton if someone will pay up in premium prospects.
For me it comes down to Ludwick vs Upton in LF. Is the difference in production worth the extra money and premium players it would cost to bring in Upton? For me, it is not. The Reds are a 97 win team. Sign Ludwick. Put the resources into strengthening the pen and solving the lead off hitter problem.
It is not clear to me that Chapman will work out as a starter (though I would give it a try). If he does work out, I think Leake could benefit from a year at AAA and capable backup should a ML pitcher go to the DL. The Reds are not in a position to trade a starter. Keeping that rotation intact makes them competitive even if they do nothing else.
If you can get Ludwick for 2 years and less than $15MM, and if he continues to produce at 2012 levels for the next 2 years, then I would agree that the trade-up to Upton is not worth the cost in salary + players.
However, if Ludwick wants more than $15MM, and/or if you think there is a decent chance he could begin to decline off of his 2012 numbers to the point where he looks more like the 2011 Ludwick, then I would disagree and say that Upton is worth it,