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Despite public comments otherwise, D-backs could still be motivated to Trade Justin Upton

Although the Arizona Diamondbacks have publicly said that they will not trade Justin Upton, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has heard the club may still try and move him before the start of the season. Upton has three years remaining on his current contract.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Although Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has been adamant that outfielder Justin Upton is no longer on the trading block, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal believes the 25-year-old slugger may be moved before the start of the 2013 season.

Here is what Rosenthal wrote on the subject, via Fox Sports:

One exec asks: What if Upton, 25, has a mediocre season? It would be the third time in four years that he failed to meet expectations. And at that point, his value will be diminished.

It's a fair question, especially following a disappointing 2012 campaign for Upton.

This past season Upton hit just .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI, just a year after hitting .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBI. Upton also hit just 17 home runs in 2010 as well.

And if Upton were to have another disappointing season in 2013, it would make it that much harder for the Diamondbacks to move him and his massive contract.

Upton is owed $9.75 million in 2013, but his contract than jumps to over $14 million for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.