Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Source: D-backs to keep Justin Upton
By Jayson Stark
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Three weeks ago, he was the most talked-about trade chip at the annual general managers meetings. But by Tuesday, it was all but official: Justin Upton isn't going anywhere.
Trade talks involving the Diamondbacks' 23-year-old right fielder have "just about died," a source familiar with the discussions told ESPN.com. While Arizona will still listen, the source said, the club is no longer motivated to trade him because it has begun filling some of the holes it would have plugged by dealing Upton.
Two dozen teams checked in on Upton over the past several weeks. But the Diamondbacks wanted a huge package back -- anywhere between three and five can't-miss young players, including two who, other teams were told, would have to become "the next Justin Upton."
Ultimately, no team was willing to pay that hefty a price, even for a player who has already made an All-Star team and is signed for the next five years. So the Diamondbacks have decided to move on and try to build a team around Upton instead of seeing if they could build a nucleus with players obtained by trading him.
Jayson Stark covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.