Potential Angels Trade Partner for Justin Upton: New York Mets
The 2020 version of Justin Upton is hardly an ideal trade asset. His performance to date, coupled with his injury-marred 2019 campaign, makes it tough to sell other teams as a possible rebound candidate. However, he’s only two years removed from a 3-plus win season where he hit 30 home runs and drove in 85 runs.
On the flip side of the coin, the Mets received a decent blow to their outfield depth when Yoenis Cespedes went on a magical mystery tour of Atlanta and then opted out of the 2020 season.
As previously mentioned, to make a deal work for Upton, the Angels are going to have to find someone looking to unload some contracts of their own and with a need in the outfield (and the heart of the order). The Mets fit that bill and could potentially fill a need for the Halos as well.
On the Mets side of the deal, the team could unload two of Brody Van Wagener’s worst decisions and potentially remove the cloud of each from fans’ memories.
In Edwin Diaz, the Angels could acquire a closer candidate that needs a change of scenery. Since landing in New York via a trade that sent a slew of prospects to Seattle (including Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn), he has produced a 5.49 ERA and a 4.59 FIP. While he still strikes out plenty of hitters (15.4 K/9 as a Met), he’s also surrendered the long ball at a rate of 2.3 HR/9.
With that said, Diaz’s $5.1 million contract in 2020 is hardly a match for the commitment to Upton over the next two seasons, even if it rises drastically over his next two years of arbitration. The Angels are going to need to sweeten the pot.
That’s where Jed Lowrie comes into play. The infielder signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets prior to the 2019 season. However, he’s played just nine games since signing the deal and will not likely play in 2020. If the Angels take on Lowrie’s deal for 2020 and include some money to cover some of Upton’s deal over the next two seasons, a deal could be had here. Still, the Angels may need to include a minor prospect to make everything happen.