The B.J. Upton Trade Rumors Start Again | The Process Report

The B.J. Upton Trade Rumors Start Again

Would it be July without a B.J. Upton-to-Washington trade rumor?

Last deadline, the Rays reportedly showed interest at various times in the likes of Brad Peacock (since traded to Oakland), Ross Detwiler, and Ian Desmond. In Jim Bowden’s piece today, he throws a new name and a new rumor into the cycle:

There have been rumors of a B.J. Upton for Michael Morse deal, too. This is a trade that would give the Rays an improvement in the middle of their lineup and a player they can control beyond this year. The Nats could put Upton in center and move Bryce Harper to the corner outfield where he belongs. However, that rumor has been denied by a Rays executive.

Morse is a departure from the aforementioned names: He’s an established big-league player with little in the way of team control remaining. In fact, Morse is older than Upton by 29 months. It’s hard to remember the last time the Rays traded a big-league player and received an older one in return in a one-for-one deal (the Jesse Chavez-for-Rafael Soriano deal, perhaps?). As Bowden suggests, Morse is under contract for one more season at a cost of $6.75 million—or a little less than what Upton makes this year.

In the past, Morse has played the corner outfield and first base. His bat is the main draw, as he’s batted .294/.347/.518 since the start of the 2009 season in a little over 1,000 plate appearances. After missing all of April and May with a strained shoulder, Morse has returned but is currently underperforming expectations. (Upton is doing likewise.)

If the Rays were to acquire Morse in a trade for Upton, he would presumably take over in left field, with Desmond Jennings moving to center.

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