There were offseason rumors of Justin Upton being dealt prior to the 2011 season. He spent the next six months absolutely mashing the ball, and he nearly won the MVP award. With the Arizona Diamondbacks on a six-game losing streak and now seven games back in the NL West, some have begun to wonder if the club could become sellers at the trade deadline.
You would expect names such as Joe Saunders and maybe Stephen Drew to be mentioned, but the latest report from Ken Rosenthal suggests it could be Upton once again.
Right-handed power hitters are in short supply on the trade market.
That could change, however, if the Arizona Diamondbacks fall from contention.
At that point, the D-backs would consider offers for right fielder Justin Upton, according to major-league sources.
The team currently is preparing for all trade possibilities - buying, selling and veteran-for-veteran deals that would improve the club, sources said.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers historically has been willing to discuss any player on his roster. However, a trade of Upton would become realistic only if the D-backs became outright sellers, which is hardly certain given the unsettled state of the NL West.
It is important to note that Rosenthal mentions the D-backs will simply "consider offers" for their star outfielder rather than aggressively look to move him or something similar. Still though, just the news that Upton could be dealt in the coming weeks has to be alarming for Arizona fans.
It seems unlikely that anything will come of these rumors, but they'll definitely be something to keep an eye on as the July 31 deadline approaches.
For more on the D-backs and Upton, check out AZ Snake Pit.