11/22/10 10:14 PM EST
Towers: Nothing new on Upton trade front
D-backs listening to offers but no move is imminent
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
"Nothing new to report there," said D-backs general manager Kevin Towers.
Towers created quite a stir last week when he said the club was open to dealing the 23-year-old outfielder, who is viewed by many as a franchise-type player.
While saying that there were lots of teams who expressed serious interest in Upton, Towers added that there were really only "two or three" out there that have the players it would take to make a deal work. Those players would have to be ones who could help the D-backs immediately.
"We want to win next year," Towers said. "We're not talking about getting A-ball prospects back. It would have to be players that could help us in 2011."
Given the fact the D-backs feel no need to move Upton and are asking for overwhelming talent in return, it would seem that a deal would be unlikely.
"I think he'll probably be here on Opening Day," said D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall.
Towers said he hopes to have the process completed early next month.
"I would say before the end of the Winter Meetings we should know," Towers said of the gathering which runs from Dec. 6-9 in Orlando. "We're kind of walking through this thing slowly right now. If we are overwhelmed in a deal, great. If not, the fallback is we still have Justin Upton on our team, and that's a good thing."
Throughout his 14-plus years as a general manager, Towers has found it helpful to gauge the trade market for all of his players. It is especially important for him right now, considering he has been on the job in Arizona for just two months.
"For me, it was about getting an idea of how other teams value our players," Towers said. "I have a lot better idea of how other teams view our players now."
Based on his Twitter post recently, Upton seems to be keeping all the talk in perspective.
"What's up twitter followers?" he wrote. "Anyone heard any good trade rumors lately? Lol."
The D-backs do not seem to be concerned that Upton would be negatively impacted by trade talk should he, as expected, remain in Arizona.
Towers said he had not talked to Upton about the rumors and he was not certain if manager Kirk Gibson had, either.
"[The rumors] may have come as a shock to him, but it's just part of the business," Towers said. "Hopefully, he understands our position. We're not out shopping him. People have interest and they value him, just like we value him. It should really be a compliment to him."
Said Hall, "Justin is such a strong kid mentally that I'm sure [the rumors] aren't bothering him. He understands it's part of baseball and teams are going to listen."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.