Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors: The Interesting Case of Justin Upton, Again…


The Pittsburgh Pirates have been connected to (0-for-10 this weekend) Justin Upton for quite a while now. Jayson Stark tweeted about the Upton to Pittsburgh deal again yesterday, saying the Bucs ‘could include’ Starling Marte in the deal.

It appears the Pirates aren’t a good fit because the Diamondbacks have outfield depth, and would seem to be looking for a powerful third baseman, not prospects.

It makes us wonder:  could a third team be in on any potential trade of Upton from the Snakes to Pittsburgh?  Especially since their GM said the club isn’t interested in prospects.

The rumor became even more interesting to us considering the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians didn’t start Starling Marte yesterday. 

Jon Heyman tweeted that the rumor isn’t serious because Pittsburgh won’t include Jameson Taillon or Gerrit Cole in the deal.

It’s curious that the Pirates are so hot on Upton when he is struggling so mightily.  David Schoenfield took a look at Upton’s spray chart with the help of Inside Edge.

He has been called out looking at strike three a ML leading 34 times this season.

Upton is hitting the ball in the air nine percent less.

Upton crushed 20 bombs toward left field that went at least 400 feet.  He was a dead pull hitter.  This season, he’s not – he has just four of those bombs.

But take a look at what Upton is doing with the bat when he hits the ball to right field.  It appears a few of those balls to right field could be off the Clemente Wall… perhaps the Pirates are encouraged by the fact Upton is moving the ball around more to the right side of the yard this season?

There is no question –  if Upton remains a dead pull hitter and the Bucs were to grab him, quite a few of those 2011 homers would be doubles or outs at PNC.

Upton to Pittsburgh is one of the most interesting deals being rumored at the moment.  It’s also one of the scariest.