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Kirk Gibson wants Justin Upton on Diamondbacks

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Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson says he wants Justin Upton on the team. Quoted by AZ Central, Gibson says that Upton is very valuable to the team, but respects that general manager Kevin Towers might decide that the team would be even better with players they might get for Upton in a trade.

Upton has been the subject of trade rumors for several years running, the most recent coming after an injury-plagued 2012 season that was marked by the kind of inconsistency he has shown throughout his career. His 2012 second-half slash line was .287/.460/.817, a good step up from his first-half .273/.353/.401. Past seasons have seen him start hot but finish cool (2008), or bat .300 and make the All-Star team while leading the major leagues in errors by an outfielder.

Discussion of Upton may still center around potential rather than consistent results, but Gibson knows he's a valuable member of the team. He also knows that view may not be shared across the organization:

"Of course, [Towers] and I look at it different ways. I'm looking at it from a team point of view. He's got an administrative decision to make."

Upton is under contract with the Diamondbacks until 2015 as part of a six-year, $50 million deal.