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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Dec 6, 2012 - 11:29 am

MLB writer believes Diamondbacks will trade Justin Upton

MLB.com writer Richard Justice believes Justin Upton will be traded this off-season, though no acceptable deal has come across D-backs GM Kevin Towers' desk.

Arguably the most talked about player during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, TN, Upton may very well be dealt over the next few weeks.

Or not.

Regardless, Justice said there is a belief that Upton, wherever he is, has some good years ahead of him.

"I tell you, baseball executives think he's going to be, if not a superstar, a real big-time star over the next five years," he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf. That said, he understands why Arizona would consider dealing the former number one pick.

"So while you're building a franchise, the Diamondbacks have all kinds of starting pitching, but they have other needs and if you can satisfy some of those needs you ought to be at least in a listening mode."

Upton, who hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI last year, is an interesting player to try and project. He's played in two All-Star games and is just one year removed from a season in which he garnered MVP consideration.

He's a career .278 hitter with 108 home runs and 363 RBI, and he's stolen at least 20 bases in two seasons.

But is that as good as it gets for Upton? If so, the D-backs may be wise to deal him now rather than wait for him to make good on his vast potential.

"I trust the analytics people, and they love the guy," Justice said. "They think the guy's on the path to being a real elite player in the league."

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