PIRATES GETTING VERY SERIOUS ABOUT UPTON BUT MIXED OPINIONS ON WHETHER THEY’RE A MATCH WITH D-BACKS
The Pittsburgh Pirates have significant interest in Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton that the team has reached the point where they have made it known to the Diamondbacks that they are at least willing to discuss a package centering around top hitting prospectÂ Starling Marte for Upton who has emerged as the Pirates top target as the team seeks to add a star player next to Andrew McCutchen for the next several years, Jayston Stark of ESPN mentioned on twitter today.
While the Pirates are stepping up their pursuit of Upton, the Diamondbacks are seeking MLB-ready players in return for Upton and it remains to be seen whether Pittsburgh has enough assets to be a match at the end of the day.
The Diamondbacks have been scouting Indianapolis in recent weeks and are high on Marte and Rudy Owens, industry sources say. The Pirates have indicated for now that Jameson Taillon is off limits. Marte who is on the cusp of being ready for the Majors, is hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs for Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates have been considering a callup for Marte this month.
Meanwhile, the Pirates have a scout in Chicago this weekend, scouting Upton, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports. Upton, 24, is having a down season hitting .265 with 7 home runs and 38 RBIs. He has a .351 on-base percentage and .744 OPS.
Upton last season had an MVP type season, hitting 31 home runs and 88 RBIs, including 21 stolen bases and an .898 OPS.