The Pittsburgh Pirates are becoming "serious bidders" for outfielder Justin Upton, who the Arizona Diamondbacks have said they would trade for the right price, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported Sunday on Twitter.
#Pirates emerging as serious bidder for Justin Upton. More on that and other trade buzz on the 12:30 ET edition of Baseball Tonight!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 15, 2012
The Pirates have been mentioned before as a possible destination for the 24-year-old Upton, who Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said he would trade for the right price. Upton has also been loosely linked to the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.
The Diamondbacks would likely be interested in Pirates' top pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, the PIrates' two first-round picks in the 2011 and 2010 drafts, respectively.
On Saturday, Towers said that he had discussed the trade rumors with Upton. He said he told Upton his policy of listening to offers on him is nothing unusual.
“I said, ‘Hey, this is no different than the way I approached it even before you got to know me in 2010. I listen on everybody,’” Towers said. “We’re in the information gathering business. I said, ‘If something gets close, you’ll be a part of the process. I’m not going to shock you with something. If something is coming down and I think it’s close, there will be a heads up.’ I said, ‘At this point in time, a lot of people are kicking tires. Your name is out there a lot, most of it is untrue.’”In 82 games this year, Upton is batting .264 with a .735 OPS. He has seven homers and 37 RBI while stealing 10 bases.