Justin Upton is still a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but not for a lack of effort by the D-Backs in trying to move him.
The Diamondbacks were in agreement on a trade that would have sent Upton to the Seattle Mariners, but the two-time All-Star rejected the proposed deal, major league sources say.
The Mariners are one of four clubs on Upton’s no-trade list, according to sources. At least two other teams, the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, also are pursuing him.
The Mariners offered the D-Backs a package of four young players, sources say, one of right-hander Taijuan Walker and lefties Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, plus infielder Nick Franklin and lefty Charlie Furbush, then right-hander Stephen Pryor or another.
Upton’s rejection of the Mariners could be an attempt by him to leverage the Diamondbacks into sending him to a more preferred destination. The D-Backs, meanwhile, could be telling Upton that Seattle is his only option if he wants to leave Arizona, and for that reason it’s always possible that a deal could revive.
Upton, 25, is under contract for $38.5 million over the next three years. He has been the subject of repeated trade discussions almost since the moment that Kevin Towers became the Arizona GM in the fall of 2010.
Both the Rangers and Braves have pursued Upton this offseason, sources say, and other teams also have checked in.
The Rangers have made three straight postseason appearances, two to the World Series. The Braves recently signed Upton’s older brother, B.J., to a five-year, $75.25 million free-agent contract.
The Mariners, on the other hand, have finished last in the AL West in each of the past three seasons and four of the past five. They play in a pitcher’s park, Safeco Field, but are moving in the fences this season in an attempt to make the park more hitter-friendly.