Kendrick: 'High likelihood' Upton stays with D-Backs

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Writing this afternoon, Jon Heyman came down in the Tim Kurkjian camp, citing one un-named "Diamondbacks person" as saying Justin Upton "has a 90 percent chance of being with the Diamondbacks when spring training starts." He also quoted owner Ken Kendrick, repeating earlier statements that he doubted Upton would be moved.

Here is the Kendrick quote in full from the piece.: "I think there's a very high likelihood Justin will be in our starting outfield when we start the new season." Kendrick also went on to discuss why Upton's name seemed to come up so often in trade rumors - I tend to agree, it's largely down to Kevin Towers' attitude that no-one is untouchable. "Kevin is Kevin," said Kendrick. "I think there is no one on the roster Kevin wouldn't have a discussion about, if asked."

Kendrick went on to discuss more about his opinion of Upton [yes, I know that probably won't sit well with certain SnakePitters!] He said, "I'm a big Justin fan. He was drafted 1-1, and the fan expectation was so extraordinary. I think the fan base has seen flashes of an extraordinary talent. Justin's still young. All of us as young people aren't as consistent with what we do until we become a little more mature. Justin suffers from very high expectations. But he's had extraordinary success. And I think he has a lot more to contribute.''

There isn't much more in the story concerning the "90%" figure mentioned in the introduction, but it's interesting that it's almost the exact opposite of the "80-20" figure cited by Ken Rosenthal a couple of weeks back. That, however, was from a "major-league source" rather than the Diamondback one Heyman cites, and that seems to have been the normal pattern. Those inside the organization have largely been consistent in downplaying the chances of Upton being traded, it's those outside who seem to believe it's a lot more likely.Of course, it's entirely up to you, as to who you consider more credible.

Heyman also reports that Upton has changed his no-trade list this year. He can list four teams to whom he cannot be traded, without his consent. Last year, the list appeared to be the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs. Now, it appears to include both the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. Heyman calls the latter "a seemingly smart move," based on how active the Canadians have been this winter, though notes that the loss of young shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria [and yes - yes, I did copy and paste that name, thank you for asking!] in the Marlins blockbuster, likely reduces Toronto's appeal as a trading partner.

With Thanksgiving this week, it will likely be a quietish one on the Upton Trade Rumor front. The baseball winter meetings start December 3 in Nashville, so we should probably get in a good supply of canned food and bottled water for the blizzard of reports, sources and reports of sources which we're likely to get over the four days those are taking place.

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