The Texas Rangers attempted to trade third base prospect Mike Olt to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Andrelton Simmons with the hopes of acquiring Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton in a swap for Simmons, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports:
Rangers wanted Upton enough that they tried to trade Olt for ATL's Simmons (who AZ wants). Braves wouldn't do it, tho.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) November 12, 2012
If Braves had been willing to deal Simmons, they'd probably just get Upton for themselves. But they're keeping Simmons.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) November 12, 2012
The Rangers made it known last week that they are unwilling to part with either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar for Upton, so acquiring Simmons was likely their best way to still get Upton without having to give up their two prized shortstops.
The club's dogged pursuit of Upton can also be seen as an indicator that Texas does not intend to bring back Josh Hamilton. With Kevin Youkilis being the only high-profile third baseman on the market this winter, the Rangers' willingness to offer up Olt could also lead to more trade negotiations involving the young prospect as the winter wears on.