Coming into this week's GM meetings, nobody would have expected that Justin Upton's name would be perhaps the most discussed. He's one of the Diamondbacks' most valuable pieces, and he's under contract through 2015 -- a contract that, if he's the burgeoning All-Star most think, is pretty reasonable. Why would they trade him?
It seems to have started as an innocent statement by new Arizona GM Kevin Towers, saying nobody is untouchable and he's always open to the possibility that a trade proposal will wow him. Somehow that quickly became "the Diamondbacks are shopping Upton," and teams apparently started blowing up Towers' phone with offers.
He's an exciting player, a fleet outfielder who has some pop, plays good defense and steals bases. The first overall pick in the 2005 draft batted .273/.356/.442 in 2010, his third full season, with 17 homers and 69 RBI. He's not without his potential drawbacks, including a propensity for strikeouts, a reputation as a streaky hitter and a shoulder problem that ended his 2010 season early. But he's just 23 with a huge upside, and he's very desirable for anyone looking for a young, impact bat (which is pretty much everyone).
2010: .273/.356/.442 in 571 PA, 18 SB, 17 HR, 9.3 UZR/150
Career: .272/.352/.471 in 1,728 PA, 41 SB, 60 HR, 2.4 UZR/150
WHAT IT WILL TAKE
Some teams have reportedly quickly dropped out of the running after determining that the Diamondbacks' demands are over the top. It's clear from various reports that Towers wants a large package of players, including multiple guys who are either in the majors or major-league ready. The approach in a scenario like this is that if you can get six players, you're bound to hit on a couple of them.
WHERE HE COULD GO
The Blue Jays have been mentioned prominently, and have pitching prospects to offer. The Red Sox reportedly made a big initial push, but that might have cooled. The Mariners are interested but might not have the prospects. The Orioles and Marlins also pop up in rumors.
Towers puts all these offers in his pocket and doesn't make a move at this point. If teams want Upton this badly now, Towers can afford to wait until midseason and see a) where the Diamondbacks are looking in terms of contending any time soon; and b) whether there are contenders who need a difference-making bat badly enough to really overpay. I'm betting he at least starts the season in Phoenix.
-- David AndriesenFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.