“We will destroy Philadelphia. And then, when it is done, and Philadelphia is… in ashes… then you have my permission to die.”
- Bane “The Dark Knight Rises.”
I may be screwing up the plot to that movie in my head or something, but upon hearing that Arizona’s Justin Upton had been traded to the Seattle Mariners, only to veto the deal because no one in their right mind wants to play baseball in Seattle, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Bruce Wayne as he laid in prison, waiting for the hoped-for death that he knew would never come.
You see, Justin Upton will never play baseball in Philadelphia.
At least, not until he’s 35 and posts a WAR below zero.
It’s clear now that the Diamondbacks cannot go to spring training with Upton on their roster. That bridge, if it wasn’t already burned, is now fully engulfed in flames.
Arizona is going to trade Justin Upton, the one available player on the market who would be the absolute perfect solution to the Phillies’ crying need of a young, power-hitting outfielder.
Unfortunately, everyone knows he’s not coming to Philadelphia.
And making this an even sweeter hell is the very real possibility he’ll end up in an Atlanta Braves uniform playing with his brother B.J.
Yeah, that’s enough for a little self-immolation, if you ask me.
Given what Seattle was prepared to give up for Upton, it’s obvious the Phils don’t have anything close to a package that would interest the Diamondbacks.
As I mentioned last week, there is nothing left in the Phillies’ cupboard. The shelves are bare. Only Jesse Biddle remains, and as far as Major League prospects go, he’s still probably ranked in the 50s or 60s somewhere.
And it’s going to take a prospect much more valuable than that to force Arizona’s hand.
So, Upton is going to be traded. It’s going to happen. And all the Phils can hope for is that he ends up somewhere like Baltimore or Texas.
Anywhere but Atlanta.
Because if the Braves acquire Justin Upton, you can pretty much lock in third place in the National League East for the Phils in 2013, unless of course Ryan Howard begins hitting 50 home runs again, Chase Utley finds a way to hit over .300 with 25 HRs, and Roy Halladay throws a couple more no-hitters this year.
So, as we all await the nightmare tweet from Buster Olney or Jayson Stark or Jim Salisbury stating that Upton has been traded to Atlanta, let’s just prepare ourselves for the worst, OK?
Let’s all sit and watch as an outfielder who would be perfect for the Phillies, an outfielder who is totally available, gets traded to someone else, and probably a division rival.
Then, you have my permission to die.