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MLB Trade Speculation: Why Diamondbacks Should Deal Justin Upton This Winter

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MLB Trade Speculation: Why Diamondbacks Should Deal Justin Upton This Winter
Norm Hall/Getty Images

A year removed from a 94-win season and a National League West title, the Diamondbacks are in a bit of flux as the 2012 season heads into its closing months.

With a record of 64-65 after four straight losses, Arizona stands in the middle of the pack at No. 16 in Joel Reuter's most recent Bleacher Report MLB power rankings .

While this is a solid position, and the Diamondbacks are still alive in the National League at 7.5 games back in the NL West and 7.5 games behind the wild-card leading Atlanta Braves, the team has appeared more like sellers than buyers in the waning days of summer. 

Their 2012 transactions via Espn.com show a lot of activity, as the Diamondbacks recently sent Joe Saunders to the Orioles for reliever Matt Lindstrom on August 26.

Another recent move involved sending long-time shortstop Stephen Drew to the Oakland A's for minor leaguer Sean Jamieson, which occurred on August 20 (via Sarah McLellan at azcentral.com).

Before these two big moves, the Diamondbacks lost their beloved "Tat Man" on July 25. A versatile infielder, Ryan Roberts went to the Rays in exchange for minor league second basemen Tyler Bortnick.

Many changes have occurred out in the desert, including seven different third basemen to start for Arizona. Despite this adversity, manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers have the team playing .500 ball in the ultra-competitive NL West (via Jim McLellan of azsnakepit.com).

Third baseman Chris Johnson was acquired from the Houston Astros to fill this infield void, but many more moves will be required for the Diamondbacks to match the new powerhouse in Los Angeles and the always competitive San Francisco Giants.

One of those moves is shopping around all-star right fielder Justin Upton, who has been the source of trade talk since the trade-deadline in July (azcentral.com).

Here’s how the Diamondbacks can improve their chances in the NL West by trading Upton this winter, if they do not do so before then.

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