Updated Jan 10, 2013 - 9:06 pm
Is it game over in the pursuit of Justin Upton?
Update: Jon Heyman reports that the pitcher in the deal was Taijuan Walker.
A bubble burster of sorts came across Twitter this afternoon. From Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
"Sources: #Dbacks' Justin Upton invoked his no-trade rights to reject a deal to the #Mariners."
Jack Zduriencik declined comment on the news, saying that as always, he will not comment on any trade rumors.
The article , which cited major league sources, said that the Mariners and Diamondbacks were in agreement on a trade that would have sent Upton to Seattle and "a package of young talent" which – according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com – included Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Nick Franklin and one of the Big 3 to Arizona.
Asking for Upton's final approval apparently was the last step in the deal.
Or maybe not.
Upton has four teams on his no-trade list and there is reason to believe that the list was created to provide leverage in trade situations. With a deal of this scale, a ton of work was put into coming to the agreement that was struck between the two teams. It is hard to believe that first refusal would be endgame.
It is important to note and remember here that if the report is true, Zduriencik is ready and willing to deal from his pool of prized prospects. The question now is, how far would he be willing to go in dealing with Upton if given the opportunity? We don't know if it is at that point or past that point, but the possibility exists that Upton's list – which is reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com to include the Cubs, Blue Jays and White Sox in addition to Seattle – was created for leverage and that this trade could be revisited.
One way or another I would be surprised if Upton is not traded. Arizona is now in a situation that GM's try to avoid. Having a player on a roster that they have told they have a deal in place to trade is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Arizona wanted what Seattle was offering. No doubt they had multiple offers and Seattle's is what suited them best. The Diamondbacks don't give up on this deal any easier than the Mariners do.
That doesn't mean this gets done, but there is a reasonable chance that it isn't over.
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