Justin Upton should get a good realtor. He has been renting space on the hot stove for years now. He might as well buy himself a nice place where he can be comfortable - you know, where he can raise a family of trade rumor children. All jokes aside, it seems the Arizona Diamondbacks use the threat of trade as a motivational tool for Justin Uptin. At some point, they are going to just have to pull the trigger. And that time may be now despite owner Kyle Kendrick's claims that the team probably won't deal him.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Upton has a 90 percent chance of starting next season with the Diamondbacks. After months of trade speculation, Arizona is trying to put some of the rumors to bed. Kendrick didn't put a percentage on Upton's chances of returning, but a team employee did. Kendrick simply said there's a high likelihood of Upton being their starting right fielder in 2013.
Of course, all this could simply mean a trade is imminent. As Upton has bounced between the safety of the long-term Diamondbacks' plans and the rumor mill. Every time he has been dangled as a trade target, he has been pulled back. This time feels different. Kendrick ripped Upton earlier in the year, and Upton has not quite lived up to the potential the Diamondbacks see for him.
Last year was a down season for Upton. He hit .280/.355/.430 with 17 home runs. It was a solid season, but not the type of year a franchise cornerstone can settle for. In 2011, though, Upton finished fourth in National League MVP voting. He has shown flashes of greatness, but even when he is off, he is still good.
Whether or not Upton starts next season with the Diamondbacks depends on what Arizona can get in return for him. If the right deal comes along, there is little doubt the team would trade him.
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