Recently brought up into trade talks, Melvin Upton Jr. might end up playing for the Baltimore Orioles this season, who are discussing a trade for him with the San Diego Padres, who could be getting Ubaldo Jimenez in return.
It’s surprising to see the Orioles looking for more hitting, but Upton has enjoyed a resurgence since leaving the Atlanta Braves and joined the Padres in 2015. He’s been one of their few bright spots in a mostly down season, batting .256 with a .743 OPS, hitting 16 home runs. Playing left field most of the time, it seems the rumors around him have been hurting his focus, so the Padres have taken him out of the lineup for now.
Jimenez was always going to be a trade chip for the Orioles, as he’s having an awful season and they don’t want to pay him $13.5 million in 2017. No one does, so in order to move him, they’ll probably be paying a big part of it while the Padres hopes he bounced back from a truly terrible campaign: The 32-year old is 5-9 through 17 starts and 18 appearances, with a 7.38 ERA and only 81.2 innings. He has a shocking 1.971 WHIP, allowing 12.2 hits per nine innings, while striking out 1.44 batters per walk.
Upton has $22 million coming his way in 2017, which makes this deal quite expensive for the Orioles, who wouldn’t be shedding too much salary by moving Jimenez, only paying him to go and suck elsewhere. The Padres will probably be looking for something more, but the Orioles might feel desperate to give themselves more hitting depth and quality going into the final two months of the season, not to mention having someone who can keep it going next year too. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun rates the chances of success for this deal at 45%, which isn’t saying much, but slightly siding with the financials instead of the pure baseball aspects of it.