Taijuan Walker - Christian Petersen
The Seattle Mariners were willing to give up a big time package to land Arizona outfielder Justin Upton. Upton exercised his no-trade clause to veto that deal, but Arizona g.m. Kevin Towers says he's not taking a lesser deal.
Jon Heyman has an article up at CBS Sports in which Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers says he's not taking anything less for Justin Upton than what the D-Backs were getting from Seattle in their aborted Upton swap.
Here's Heyman's summary of that deal:
The multitalented Upton rejected the agreed-upon trade that would have sent him to Seattle for top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, fine-hitting shortstop prospect Nick Franklin and two more prospects, believed to be young pitchers Stephen Pryor, a right-hander, and Charlie Furbush, a lefthander. The package was notable in that several competing executives expressed surprise at how much Towers got for Upton. Walker is considered one of baseball's very best pitching prospects and Franklin is an exceptional hitter, though it isn't certain whether he will stay at shortstop.
If Towers is telling the truth, that should put an end to any thoughts by Rangers fans that Upton is coming to Texas. Taijuan Walker is a better prospect than anyone in the Rangers system other than Jurickson Profar (and the Rangers have made it clear they aren't trading Profar), while Nick Franklin is about on par with Mike Olt.
This could be simply posturing on the part of Towers, who seemingly needs to deal one of his outfielders, and who has supposedly been fielding offers for Upton all offseason. There were indications that the Rangers were ready to pull a trigger on a deal earlier in the offseason that would have seen Texas part with Olt, Derek Holland, and at least one other quality prospect -- possibly Martin Perez -- to land Upton. At this point, reports are that the Rangers have made their final offer for Upton, and if the D-Backs want more than that, there's not going to be a deal.
We shall see how this plays out for the D-Backs going forward. The easiest thing would probably be to send Jason Kubel, who is best suited to DH and who has a guaranteed deal only through 2013, to the high bidder. At this point it seems unlikely, though, that Texas is going to make a deal with the D-Backs for one of their outfielders.