The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly engaged in active discussions yet again to trade right fielder Justin Upton, with one Major League source saying there's an "80-20" chance Upton will be playing elsewhere next season, according to a report Wednesday afternoon from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The news shouldn't come as much of a surprise; the team had reportedly discussed ways to trade Upton as far back as the annual General Manager's meeting in 2010 and again this year prior to the July 31 MLB non-waiver deadline.
Despite those reports, however, Diamondbacks General Manager Ken Kendrick told a Phoenix-based radio station in October that Upton, 25, is "highly likely" to return to the team next season. He had also said in July, with days before the non-waiver deadline, that the team is better off with Upton and that "this whole thing" with reports of ongoing trade talks has "gotten way more attention than it deserves.”
Upton is owed nearly $40 million over the next three seasons and has a no-trade clause in his contract. As of last season, there were reportedly four teams on the list: The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. According to Rosenthal, however, that list has since changed.
One player mentioned in the report who could be brought in if a trade is executed is the Texas Rangers' shortstop, Elvis Andrus. Upton finished last season hitting .280/.355/.430 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs. In August, he and his brother B.J. of the Tampa Bay Rays each hit their 100th career home run within minutes of each other.