The Ride Never Ends - Dilip Vishwanat
At least our long national nightmare is over
And so, finally, the Arizona Diamondbacks have traded Justin Upton. No one really knows why they were so desperate to trade Upton in the first place but at least they finally got their man. Martin Prado.
No, Justin Upton isn't a Texas Ranger today. It's pretty much a bummer ending for us. The Rangers and Diamondbacks seemed to be playing a game of chicken that unfortunately ended with the Rangers concussed in a ditch, the Diamondbacks on a plane to Africa, and the Atlanta Braves getting the girl in the end by just plain avoiding this whole mess altogether until the very last second.
In case you've forgotten how this all went down, here's a history of events from The Kevin Towers Experience:
- Diamondbacks hate Justin Upton for some reason, try to trade him all the time forever
- This goes on for years
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers trades Chris Young for Cliff Pennington and Heath Bell's contract. This doesn't have anything to do with Upton but you should remember that this happened
- Rangers are interested in Upton because they're human beings
- The Diamondbacks need a shortstop. The Diamondbacks demand a shortstop. The Diamondbacks won't take anything less than a shortstop
- Towers asks Rangers for Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for Upton, Rangers rebuff
- Diamondbacks ask Braves for Andrelton Simmons
- Rangers try to just help everyone out, aim to trade Mike Olt for Simmons and then send Elvis to Arizona. Everyone wins! Except Atlanta. Atlanta just laughs. The Braves move on and get the other Upton, B.J. Upton
- Rangers spend bulk of Winter Meetings contacting every team in baseball for a three-way trade to help them talk to a crazy person
- Rangers come so close to finally guessing the right combination of idiosyncrasy required to pry Upton loose from Towers that Peter Gammons reports an Astros' official heard it was a done deal at one point
- Towers completes a three-team trade without the Rangers anyway
- Towers finally gets his shortstop! Except it is Didi Gregorius for Trevor Bauer and it makes no sense but at least this dreamscape of terror is over now since Towers doesn't have the need to trade Upton, right?
- Towers gives Cody Ross a three-year $26 million dollar contract
- Soup's back on, boys!
- Diamondbacks try to pretend they'll move Jason Kubel
- No one wants Jason Kubel
- Towers intimates that the asking price for Upton has changed now that he's got himself a shortstop that reminds him of Jeter
- Somewhere around here the Rangers offer something like Mike Olt, Martin Perez, Leury Garcia, maybe something else
- None of these people are Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar, so no dice
- Towers' gambit finally pays off when he finds a trading partner more preposterous than himself, Jack Zduriencik agrees to send a stunning package of Walker, Franklin, Furbush, and Pryor to Arizona
- Before the deal is completed, Diamondbacks shop offer back to Texas to see if they want to top it
- Rangers make final offer, obviously can't top the Mariners' package, agree to move on, and Jon Daniels likely asks, "Wait, you didn't just say 'YES YES I AGREE TO THAT TRADE RIGHT NOW YES THANK YOU' when offered that deal by Zduriencik?'
- Upton uses limited no-trade to reject deal to Seattle as he had told the Diamondbacks he would all along
- "LOL I was just setting the price." - (probably) Kevin Towers, 2013
- Towers says he's in no hurry, everyone knows what it will cost to acquire Upton now
- The price is arguably very steep, this could be a while
- Towers books a January 25th vacation for Africa
- World waits for Rangers and Diamondbacks to circle back around, it's just hours from Towers' Tanzania Safari after all
- Towers agrees to trade Upton to Atlanta for a deal headlined by Martin Prado. That's right, not Andrus or Profar, Simmons, Olt or Walker. Martin Prado.
- We're in the future now
- Towers boards plane ready to relax and enjoy himself knowing he's turned Chris Young, Justin Upton, and Trevor Bauer into Cliff Pennington, Heath Bell, Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill, and Didi Gregorius
- Sips bourbon
- Leans seat back
- Job well done