Justin Upton is a lot of things. He's 23 years old. He's a right fielder. He's B.J. Upton's brother. He's incredibly talented. He's signed to a long-term contract. And, evidently, he's available in trades, with new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers listening to offers and thinking about a major shake-up.
Since Ken Rosenthal's initial report that Arizona was listening to suitors, as many as 15 teams have expressed some level of interest. Some of the strongest interest has come from the Red Sox and Blue Jays. The Red Sox currently have Upton on the backburner, but have the resources necessary to bring him over. And the Blue Jays have made a strong push, and have a wealth of young pitchers that could catch Arizona's eye.
The Diamondbacks say they're confident something could get worked out. A major obstacle, though, is the asking price. Rosenthal says Towers wants four prospects, presumably close to being Major League-ready. And Towers himself has said that he wants to win any trade that gets made, and that he's looking to sell Upton to someone who would overpay. Upton will not be had cheaply, which will ultimately drive many teams away.
But there's a reason his price is so high. Upton just turned 23 in August, he has a career .824 OPS, he's a good athlete with all the tools in the world, and he's signed through 2015 for just $49.5 million. He's an elite-level talent signed to a team-friendly contract, which makes him one of the most valuable assets in the game. The Diamondbacks are treating him as such, and rightly so.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream as the Upton rumors develop. There's no guarantee that anything gets done, and Arizona has no obligation to trade him away, but if something does happen, it'll be big.