Re: Trade Billy Hamilton + other prospects for Justin Upton?
I have been thinking about the possibility of trading for Upton and with Arizona publicly stating they would want SS's and SP's in return makes a trade possible. Now Upton has 3 yrs and 38 mill left which isin't top money, but it is a big number and with reports that the Reds don't want payroll to top 90 mill it may be tough to fit Upton on the squad financially. However, if the Reds feel like they can win in the next three years than its worth the risk of going slightly over budget. Also, Upton would only be 28 when his contract expires and could be moved at the deadline in his last season if he is not in the teams longterm future.
Now onto what to give up. At shortstop we have Gregorius, Hamilton and Cozart and at starting pitching we have Stephenson, Corcino and Leake. With reports stating Arizona wants major league ready players I would think the trade would have to begin with Cozart and Leake. After that I would be ok including either Stephenson or Corcino along with a lower rated prospect for Upton. However, I would have to feel really confident about Gregorius starting the season at shortstop to pull the trigger. Or if they don't feel Gregrious is ready for the bigs, than they better have some FA in line (Cedeno) to pull the trigger.
While this trade doesn't give us a legit leadoff hitter, which would force us to keep Phillips there, there are some major positives from making this move. First and foremost would be our killer 3-4-5 spot with Votto, Upton and Bruce. That would be absolute murder and with Fraizer batting behind that he should see an increase in his numbers as well. I would imagine our squad looking something like this.
That number two spot is the biggest question mark, but another possible avenue for the Reds to explore if they make the Upton trade and think Gregrious is ready and don't like Cedeno is calling up the Royals and seeing how open they would be to moving Escobar. He would more than fit the bill at the number 2 spot.