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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Dec 13, 2012 - 8:50 am

D-backs GM: Never came close to trading Justin Upton

Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton was the talk of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

A 25-year-old who was just a year removed from being in the MVP conversation, Upton was coming off a down year in which he hit .280 with just 17 home runs and 67 RBI.

His name in trade talks for the third consecutive year, it was thought the Diamondbacks were finally ready to trade the former number one pick.

That may have been the case, but contrary to reports, the D-backs were never close to dealing the player.

"We never came close at all, no closer than the last two years when we went to the winter meetings," Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Wednesday. "We value this kid very highly -- for obvious reasons -- and you know, we said the only way that we would talk about moving Justin is if we got a package back that made us a better ball club in 2013 and beyond, and that didn't happen.

"We're happy to have him here and we think we're a better ball club with him."

Towers said the team is in "a great position" because they were able to address needs without parting with Upton, and while they'll still listen to offers for him -- or any other player, for that matter -- but he's comfortable with the roster that has been assembled.

"We've got depth in the outfield, depth in middle infield, depth at first base, depth at third base, a better bench," he said. "And other than Trevor Bauer we haven't had to tap into our very strong farm system.

"I like where we're at."

But while Towers may like where the D-backs are at, it's worth wondering if Upton, after hearing his name talked about and his future discussed ad nauseam over the last few years, feels the same way about his situation.

After all, it can't be easy wondering if you're just moments away from being traded.

"It's part of the business; I think Justin gets that," Towers said. "For some guys, they're motivated by it. There's certain players that like to see their name out there, it means they're coveted, they're wanted, they're valued, and I think that's the case with Justin.

"I think we probably value him more than the rest of the industry, that's why he's still here."


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