If you scroll through the seas and depths of LA Angels Twitter, there’s a few things you’re bound to see.
Some LA Angels fans can be found arguing about top prospects, debating free agents to-be, and defending Trout as the best player in baseball and his 2019 MVP case against Alex Bregman (who honestly has a solid case himself).
Then there’s the one surety: the trade Justin Upton crowd.
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It’s a loud crowd, and the numbers are growing every day. No opinion is more popular on twitter than that of thinking the Angels should trade Justin Upton, and that it would be easy to do so and clear his salary off the books.
However, there’s a few reasons as to why Billy Eppler won’t trade Justin Upton this winter.
1.) Justin Upton Is Still Good at Hitting Baseballs
I understand that 2019 was a down year for Upton. However, his track record speaks for itself. Four All Star Game appearances and three Silver Slugger awards far outweigh the poor 2019 season he had. I know as fans we tend to live in the moment and forget about the past, especially when it helps our own narrative.
However, there’s no reason to believe that with a healthy offseason and a good Spring Training, Upton won’t return to his previous form and give the Halos the power bat they need. If this club is hoping to contend in 2020, they’ll need every big bat they can get their hands on.
2.) Justin Upton Won’t Net the Angels a Worthwhile Return
In addition to his presence being beneficial to the Angels in 2020, there’s also the fact that if Billy Eppler was deadset on trading Upton away this winter he would not be met with an offer worth taking. Since his 2019 season was so disastrous, Upton’s value is at an all time low.
Honestly, if the Angels wanted to dump Upton for absolutely nothing in a pure salary dump, they would be unlikely to net anyone worth getting excited about. If he comes back in 2020 and shows his old self is back, then the idea of trading him away becomes somewhat appealing should the Angels fall out of contention.
3.) Justin Upton Literally Has a No-Trade Clause
Every time an Angels fan pleads for Eppler to deal Upton on some form of social medium, this point is oft-forgot. Justin Upton’s extension in 2017 included a full no-trade clause for Upton. If the Angels wanted to deal him, Upton could say no to any team that showed interest.
While it’s of course possible for Upton to give the Angels a list of teams he’d accept a trade to, this is just another example of leverage weighted unfavorably towards the Angels.
In the end, the timing is not right for the Angels to trade Justin Upton. While that could change by the end of Upton’s contract, this offseason should be focused on adding to the Angels’ roster, not subtracting from.