ESPN's Buster Olney sparked a controversy saying the Rays were going to market Upton in the offseason. Upton haters have been saying good riddance because of perceived attitude issues/regression/lack of hustle, ec. Upton supporters have been screaming this is foolish to even consider because of immense potential/still under team control for a few seasons/selling low, etc.
Both sides are wrong.
The Rays should consider Upton offers the same way they would for any player. Having a surplus of outfielders means there's some flexibility there. Regardless of Upton's year, he still could fetch a very good haul.
And that is the only way he puts on a different uniform.
Adrian Gonzalez. Felix Hernandez. Matt Cain. Buster Posey. If names like these are not part of the consideration, then no trade is happening. If Upton isn't part of a Delmon Young-type package, this isn't happening.
Felix Hernandez is extremely interesting. It would take a huge package, but there are a few reasons why the Rays are a good fit. Seattle has an affection for Reid Brignac. Thanks to trading Adam Jones, they are in need for an impact CF. Some sort of a Upton/Brignac and a Niemann/Davis/Hellickson could get a deal done.
A deal like that makes sense.
Hernandez is under contract through 2011. Is two years of Hernandez worth Upton, Brignac and a Niemann/Davis? Yes and then some. Hernandez would be an even bigger name if he was in a larger market. Players of his age and caliber are rarely ever available.
Which brings us back to Upton. You don't give up on a player of his potential nor do you sell for pennies on the dollar. I still believe there is a strong likelihood Upton is traded. But if he does, I'm sure the haul will be worth the trade.