Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Upton rejects a trade, the players union agrees to more drug testing
The Arizona Diamondbacks finally had a trade of Justin Upton worked out, planning to send the young outfielder to the Mariners in exchange for four players...until he nixed it. Upton has a limited no-trade clause, with the Mariners being one of the teams on the list. The deal would have sent infielder Nick Franklin, relievers Charlie Furbush (ha) and Stephen Pryor, and one of their top pitching prospects: Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen or James Paxton.
The Mariners have a good farm system and very little offense, while the Diamondbacks are filled to the brim with outfielders. With Upton, Jason Kubel, Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton on the roster maybe the Diamondbacks will go to the rare five outfielder defense. It's a shame a deal couldn't be reached as it would be mutually beneficial. Upton's list of suitors is dwindling, but the Mariners should be able to move a package like that, or even a lesser one, for additional offensive help.
In other news, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have agreed to expanded drug testing, namely in-season blood testing for HGH (when it was previously done only in spring training) and a test for testosterone. The HGH testing only during spring training always seemed a bit strange, but it was better than nothing. The testosterone test has to be fueled by the number of suspensions we've seen linked to it over the past couple of years. Ryan Braun, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera each tested positive for it.
The players' union doesn't appear to be getting anything in return for allowing MLB the advanced testing. They're the most powerful union in the country, it just seems a bit strange that they'd not bargain for anything back. The in season testing for HGH, in theory, should discourage players from trying it during the season, but the penalty of a suspension hasn't seemed to be enough of a deterrent in the past.
-Todd Helton is coming back for what will likely be his last season. The 39-year-old had hip surgery in August.
-Keith Law published his list of the top 25 players under the age of 25 (Insider access needed).
-At BaseballProspectus, Ben Lindbergh takes a look at if the sabermetric movement has hurt Jack Morris' HOF chances.