As Major League Baseball heads into the offseason, the hot stove league is bound to heat up.
And if Justin Upton's name came up often in trade rumors during the season, you better believe it will be brought up again this winter, even if a deal never actually gets done.
When asked if he thinks Upton will be on the Diamondbacks roster when Spring Training begins, ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian said yes, but with a caveat.
"We know things change when everything gets to Spring Training," Kurkjian told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo. "I just don't believe that they have been offered anything for him that would be enough to make a deal, and therefore it would be stupid to deal him at this point."
Upton is coming off an up-and-down season that saw him hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI. He dealt with a thumb injury for much of the season, and there are some who think it contributed to his down year.
If that's the case, Upton should come to Spring Training looking more like the MVP candidate he was supposed to be than the disappointment he was in 2012. And that, Kurkjian said, is what the Diamondbacks may need to see before making a decision on the right fielder.
"See what kind of player they have," he said. "Now, if they don't have the player that they think they have, then they're going to have to move him during the season.
"But I think the logical thing to do is just say 'alright, it was an abhorrent season, he wasn't himself, we're not sure why, this is baseball and these things happen all the time. Let's see what happens when he shows up.'"