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MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays out-bid Orioles and acquire Melvin Upton from Padres

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The Jays passed the Orioles in the Upton sweepstakes. They have acquired Upton and cash from the Padres for a Rookie league pitcher.

Often of late, when the Orioles cast aside a player, it seems like the Blue Jays are there waiting to take that player, as if to prove a point. This apparent interest in one-upping the Orioles has extended to the trade market as well, with Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reporting that the Jays and Padres agreed on a deal to send Melvin Upton to Toronto.

The Orioles remained in the mix until near the end of the process. According to Rosenthal, they’re believed to have offered two prospects to the Padres in addition to Ubaldo Jimenez. However, Rosenthal says that the deal broke down over finances.

The trade with the Blue Jays involved the Padres sending “a very substantial sum” to the Blue Jays, according to Jays writer Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. The Jays sent 19-year-old pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez, who’s been pitching in Rookie league, to the Padres in the deal. Rodriguez was rated as the Jays 18th best prospect by MLB.com earlier in the season. There was no immediate word on the fate of Gretel.

It’s not immediately clear to me what the Jays want with Upton, who’s making about $15.5 million this year and $16.5 million next year, as they already have two outfielders who are hitting well and Kevin Pillar, who isn’t hitting well but covers the entire surface of the Earth.

Then again, both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are free agents at the end of the year, and if the Padres are sending so much money perhaps there’s really not much risk.

It’s also not entirely clear what the O’s wanted with Upton either, though he does at least seem to represent a possible upgrade over Nolan Reimold as righty bench bat and fourth outfielder.

The O’s wouldn’t have saved any money in swapping the Jimenez contract for Upton, though at least Upton was be more likely to be a useful player. No surprise if the deal with the O’s broke down over money.