Will Arizona trade Justin Upton?

Updated: October 2, 2012, 1:48 PM ET
By Buster Olney

NEW YORK -- The Washington Nationals went crazy after clinching the NL East, the Detroit Tigers partied in Kansas City, and the Oakland Athletics sprayed champagne all over the place after wrapping up a playoff spot.

But all was quiet where Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers called from, in the last hours of the Diamondbacks' disappointing season. A year ago, Arizona came very close to playing for the NL championship, and this year they are among those who must watch others celebrate.

"Last year, we exceeded expectations," said Towers. "This year, we fell below them."

So Towers is like most baseball executives these days, planning adjustments, preparing for changes. Because of rotation struggles and injuries, three young pitchers -- Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs -- were pushed into the rotation, probably a little sooner than the team expected. Miley is among the leading candidates for the NL Rookie of the Year, Corbin and Skaggs have performed well, and Towers believes all three will be better for their experience. Arizona actually scored about as many runs as it did last season.

But the Diamondbacks ran the bases atrociously, and they have a clear need at shortstop and a glut of outfielders. There would seem to be almost no chance that the group of Justin Upton, Chris Young, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton will return intact. One or more of them is likely to be moved.