Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 7/7/12

The Diamondbacks reportedly will consider trading Justin Upton if they fall out of contention in the NL West, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report.

Upton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft and made it to the big leagues as a 19-year-old in 2007. He put together strong seasons in 2009 and 2011, making the All-Star team both seasons and finishing fourth in NL MVP voting last season, but he’s had a pedestrian season thus far.

Upton is only batting .267/.350/.384 with seven home runs. He’s been criticized by his team’s owner and booed by Arizona fans for his disappointing season. We’re guessing those are two reasons why he would welcome a trade, though he can block a deal to four teams according to terms of his deal.

Arizona is currently 40-43 and six games back in the NL West. Between the mediocre competition in the division and extra playoff spot, the team may feel like it’s in playoff contention and elect not to become sellers. But don’t be surprised to see them deal Upton if he doesn’t heat up in the next few weeks.

GM Kevin Towers listened to trade offers for Upton when he took over the team in 2010. Upton also has an extremely reasonable contract (he is owed approx. $39 million over the next three years), so teams that have money should be willing to pick him up. We’re not confident that he gets traded this year, but it’s something that might be beneficial to both sides.

Photo credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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