With the All-Star break coming to a close, the biggest storyline surrounding the team doesn’t involve their play on the field, but rumors surrounding the future of Justin Upton, who has been linked to several deals over the past week.
General Manager Kevin Towers and the D-backs wouldn’t part with their 24-year-old, five-tool player who many view the face of the franchise, would they?
It certainly sounds like they might.
“I think you’d be foolish not to listen to offers that are out there,” Diamondbacks Special Assistant to the President and CEO Luis Gonzalez told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Thursday. “[Towers] has a good pulse of the team. Him and [Kirk Gibson] work well together. They find out what’s going on and they work hand-in-hand. We’re close at four games out. You want to make a run at the post-season because all you need to do is get in and anything can happen.”
Upton, who has been booed by fans at various times this season, is hitting .273 with seven homers and just 37 RBI’s in 331 plate appearances.
Internally the Diamondbacks are wondering if Upton could have already peaked, long before some baseball experts believe he has entered the prime of his career.
“We all want him to get to that next level,” Gonzalez explained Thursday. “Last year was a fantastic year (31 homers, 88 RBI’s, 39 doubles) and maybe he’s just having an off-year right now, but as a GM and a fan, you got to look at what will make your team better. I mean, he’s hitting third in the lineup with  RBI’s. It’s not like your number three hitter has 70 RBI’s and you’re looking to trade him right now.”
Some of the reported teams interested in J-Up include the Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, and Detroit Tigers. Arizona would like to acquire a front-line starting pitcher and/or a third baseman in return. One name linked to a possible deal is Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos.
The trade deadline is July 31st.