Justin Upton and the Cleveland Indians: Not If He Can Help It


Justin Upton Says No to the Indians, At Least by Trade

Justin Upton may be one of the most intriguing possibilities to watch in the coming months as the Hot Stove starts heating up.

With one year and $14.5 million left on his deal with the Braves, Upton recently updated his no-trade list:

While the Indians now feature prominently on the 27-year-old slugger’s list, it stands to reason that means the Tribe are completely out of the running as a trade partner with the Braves, right? From a glaringly obvious perspective, yes. But, as proud Cleveland sports fans, someone needs to do something to change the guy’s mind. I mean, he did slash .270/.342/.491 with 29 home runs and 102 RBIs. Not to mention his 3.5 WAR.

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Fine. I’ll do it.

With an outfield currently consisting of (soon-to-be-reigning MVP) Michael Brantley in left, Michael Bourn in center, and David Murphy in right, adding a player of Upton’s caliber comes across as a no-brainer.

The guy can rake and remains a pretty decent fielder (-0.9 dWAR last season, compared to Murph’s -2.2) and could slot immediately into right field (where he played the majority of his time in Arizona) and Murphy could ideally spell both corners when needed.

Most Indians fans always ask for a big bat, and Upton would indeed be that. Since he’s on the last year of his contract, the Braves shouldn’t get too greedy in the asking price (with Jose Peraza in their pipeline, Fransico Lindor should be safe.)

Without further ado, the top five reasons why Justin Upton should waive his no-trade clause to the Indians.

#5: We’ve Got LeBron

Seriously, who does this guy think he is? If this city can pry back the greatest basketball player of this generation, then why the heck wouldn’t Upton want to come play in Cleveland for a perennial winner, a competent front office, and an owner who regularly opens up his pocket books to improve the team? Wait, Justin Upton plays baseball? Oh. Well, he can watch a team that does that, at least.

#4: It’s November and We’re in a Playoff Race

His name is Brian Hoyer. The Browns are 6-3 and currently sitting atop the AFC North for the first time this late in the season since you’ve been alive, Justin. (Not really, but close.) The Browns are legit, baby, and everyone knows the Falcons suck. Oh, you have Matty Ice and that Julio guy? Cool, bro. We’ve got Mr. Hero and a guy who kicks his toddler son out of the house because he’s not his favorite player. Top that.

#3: Indians Fans Would Love You (for the First Two Months)

Hey, remember when the Indians signed Nick Swisher and people all over were like, “Dude! We got Swish! Let’s name a whole section after him!” and then someone came up with the genius nickname “BrOhio?” Can you imagine the possibilities at Progressive Field for the first couple of months of the season before fans start itching for Browns training camp? The entire right field can be renamed “UpTown,” and we can put pictures of you all over the place. Have you seen our marketing team the last couple of seasons? We’ve gone from “What if?” to “This is Tribetown.” to “Unfinished business.” Add you, and we can finally use “We Actually Listened to Our Fans (for once.)”

#2: Our Stadium is Actually Still Downtown

While it may seem fickle, your current team is building a new stadium. Because the other one got old. And they’re building the new one way outside of downtown Atlanta. Really? Turner Field is just 17 years old; that’s a teenager. Sure, Progressive Field is a little bit older, but we’re improving it, not tearing it down! Plus, it’s still downtown, close to everything…like The Flats. And the Warehouse District. And the Great Lakes Science Center.

#1: Did I Mention We Have LeBron?

Seriously. Who goes to a Hawks game?

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