Arizona Diamondbacks Should Not Trade Justin Upton

Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IOctober 28, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Justin Upton #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks swings at a pitch during a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 3, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Tony Medina/Getty Images)
Tony Medina/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks had a log jam of outfielders. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Gerardo Parra, Jason Kubel and Adam Eaton were the five players who needed to be fit into three starting positions.

But after Arizona sent Young to Oakland in the deal that brought reliever Heath Bell and infielder Cliff Pennington to the Diamondbacks, the need to make a deal is not as pressing.

Still, there are rumblings of the Diamondbacks wanting to trade Justin Upton.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Upton's days in Arizona might be numbered. The Diamondbacks can still have a solid outfield with Parra, Kubel and Eaton and they have to fill the need at shortstop. Also, they might be able to add to their pitching staff.

Plus Upton will be getting a big bump in his asking price. He is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons.

But dealing Upton or any of the remaining outfielders would be a mistake.

Inevitably there will be injuries and slumps and a need for depth. The arrival of super outfield prospect A. J. Pollock could give the Diamondbacks even more depth in the outfield, but they are best breaking him in with solid veterans around him.

The Diamondbacks may need a new shortstop, but that is not worth a player who is an MVP candidate when everything is working. Upton seems to have been in the league for a long time. But in actuality, he is only a few months older than the young Pollock.

25-year-old players with right-handed power, speed and postseason experience do not grow on trees. And Upton would not be dealt at his peak value. Selling the one-time centerpiece of a Division Champion low is not a smart move.

Plus a lot of young help is heading to Phoenix. Besides Pollock, young Chris Owings is an excellent shortstop prospect. Pitchers Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs should be ready to join Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Josh Collmenter, Bryan Shaw, David Hernandez and Brad Bergesen as D'Backs pitchers under 30 years old.

Upton was the number one pick over all in 2005 and received MVP votes in 2009 and 2011, finishing fourth last season.

Trading him because of one down season would be a knee-jerk reaction. The Diamondbacks are about to put together a terrific squad. Upton should be a part of that.