Kansas City Royals Chasing Justin Upton


Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League outfielder Justin Upton (left) of the San Diego Padres walks with National League first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (right) of the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals rumors insist the team is a top suitor for San Diego Padres outfielder Justin Upton, according to ESPN.com baseball insider Jim Bowden.

Former Reds general manager Bowden cites the KC Royals, the Seattle Mariners, and the Los Angeles Angels as Upton’s most ardent admirers. He goes on to suggest that Upton would help the Angels form an impressive lineup trio with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

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The most interesting part of his piece was his suggested price: prospect Sean Newcomb.

Bowden explained that Newcomb is starter with No. 2 or 3 upside as a mature veteran. The 22-year-old Sean Newcomb is a lefty prospect playing in High-A in the Angels system with a 2.94 ERA and an 11.2 K/9 ratio (strikeouts per nine innings).

If former GM Jim Bowden has correctly gauged Justin Upton’s current market value, that would translate to Miguel Almonte (whom the KC Royals just promoted to AA NW Arkansas this week).

Check Out: Top Trade Targets To Replace Alex Gordon, which includes a profile of Justin Upton from a KC perspective

Other options might be Sean Manaea, or even John Lamb. While Lamb is older than Newcomb at 25, he’s dominating AAA with a 9-1 record, a 2.69 ERA, and a K/9 0f 9.2. That’s also in the Pacific Coast League, which is well-known among scouts as a hitter’s circuit due to the West’s thin air. Lamb is currently on the Kansas City Royals roster as the 26th man in the KC/White Sox double header on July 17.

Perhaps a John Lamb appearance could be a nice showcase for a deadline deal.

The bottom line is if Sean Newcomb is Justin Upton’s value, a deal with the Padres shouldn’t cripple the Kansas City Royals prospect pipeline.

Heck, if Dayton Moore is willing to throw in some additional prospects, or veteran trade chips, he might be able to pull of a Upton/Shields trade that would address his biggest needs before the trading deadline: 1) starting pitching, 2) power outfielder.

What’s more, the Upton rumors seem to confirm my assertion that the KC Royals appear ready to “go for it” down the stretch. These rumblings all seem to point to the conclusion that Dayton Moore is actively looking for a major piece to put his team over the top in 2015.

Of course, with rumors flying across baseball as July 31 is now two weeks away, you can’t believe everything you hear. While front offices can leak information, the Kansas City Royals have typically done a good job keeping their secrets within the lodge. What we’re hearing could simply be general managers trying to create “demand” for their trade chips. by spreading whispers about deals that make sense.

With the KC Royals in position to push for a title, and flush with money from their post-World Series marketing bonanza, they make a great “red herring”.

Stay tuned, Kansas City Royals fans. It’s gonna be a wild fortnight, as the English like to say about Wimbledon.

Next: Kansas City Royals Five Biggest Weaknesses At The All-Star Break

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