Baltimore has expressed interest in Padres outfielder Melvin Upton, and the Padres are considering a deal that would send Ubaldo Jimenez to San Diego, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick was among the first to report the Orioles were discussing an Upton deal with the Padres.
A deal is not imminent, Rosenthal adds, since the Padres appear to be seeking an additional prospect to finalize a potential deal.
While Upton has fared well since joining the Padres, his large contract will likely make teams seeking outfield help hesitant to acquire him. Upton signed a five-year, $72.25 million deal entering 2013.
Over 90 games this season, Upton is batting .260/.309/.448 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs. He is batting .259 since joining the Padres and is a career .245 hitter known for his power.
Baltimore, already without Hyun Soo Kim, recently placed Joey Rickard on the disabled list and could be searching for outfield help as a result.
The Orioles reportedly want to prioritize starting pitching in advance of the deadline and might be able to convince the Padres to part with impending free agent Andrew Cashner in a trade. If the Orioles are able to add Upton, he could play left field until Kim returns and allow the club to give Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo an occasional day off.
Jimenez, 32, has notably struggled with the Orioles this season but would give the Padres a veteran arm under club control for another season. Like Upton, Jimenez signed a large deal and is due $13 million this season and $13.5 million next season.
Since Upton’s contract is more valuable the next two seasons, the Orioles might have to include an additional prospect in order to complete a deal.
San Diego already traded Fernando Rodney and Drew Pomeranz, and Upton could be next if the return is ideal.