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Justin Upton Trade Rumors Surface, Too Many K's Too Much Value

Arizona Diamondbacks young outfielder Justin Upton with five-tool star potential is reportedly on the MLB trade blocks. Reports surfaced that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have approached the Diamondbacks to inquire about his availability. Initial reports are that the Diamondbacks are listening, but at this point, things are still in the preliminary phases.

"I'm open to listening on anybody. We got more hits on Upton and [Stephen] Drew. They're difficult to move, but sometimes to make your club better, you have to move good players. You never know when a deal might present itself," said General Manager Kevin Towers.

Justin Upton was part of the barrage of strikeout kings that led the Diamondback to an MLB-record 1529 strikeouts. Upton was third on the D-backs roster and ninth in the National League with 152 whiffs. Of course, Upton isn't personally responsible for the D-backs' strikeout problems, but at 23 years old and loaded with potential (and an All-Star appearance), he's by far the most valuable in a trade.

The Diamondbacks have already decided not to pick up the option for Adam LaRoche (172 strikeouts) and the "King of the K," third baseman Mark Reynolds (211), has little value in the market. 

Trading Justin Upton would potentially save the Diamondbacks considerable money, which could be applied to other holes in the team's roster. In 2011, Upton begins the first year big money year of his six-year/$50 million contract. If the Diamondbacks aren't sold on Upton's long-term potential, the time to move him is now while teams still believe in his upside. If Upton were to underperform his now big-time deal, it would become difficult to trade him later.

For more Diamondbacks discussion, visit AZ Snakepit.