While the Diamondbacks shipped out third baseman Mark Reynolds and his 211 strikeouts in trading him to Baltimore on Monday, Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said outfielder Justin Upton probably will not follow him out of town.
"It was going to take a lot to move him," Towers said. "He's a young player, 23, he'll only get better with time.
"If someone is willing to overpay, then maybe. We're not one player away. We'll have a better idea when we leave here, but I'd say it's highly unlikely that Justin Upton leaves the desert."
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks, on a mission to fix a horrible bullpen, moved toward agreeing to a two-year deal with free agent J.J. Putz to serve as their new closer, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
The Diamondbacks were among the most active teams as the winter meetings started on Monday. Immediately after announcing the Reynolds trade, Towers said the Snakes have agreed on a one-year deal with free agent third baseman Melvin Mora. In replacing Reynolds, the Diamondbacks currently project Mora and Geoff Blum to split time at third.
Meantime, the Reynolds deal was the first move in Towers' stab at rebuilding what was one of the worst bullpens in the last half-century in 2010. Coming to Arizona for Reynolds are right-hander Daniel Hernandez, the former starter, and right-hander Kam Mickolio.
"Believe me, it was on my mind that when you're dealing with Kevin Towers, you're dealing with the foremost bullpen expert in our business," Orioles president and general manager Andy MacPhail said.
"I like power arms, and we had [Hernandez] up to 98 m.p.h.," Towers said. "And in the pen we saw a power spike. He has huge sink down in the zone, and he can pitch above the belt because of his velocity."
Towers also likes the "downward angle" the 6-foot-9 Hernandez brings to the mound.
The new Arizona GM called this deal the first move in the process of overhauling the Diamondbacks bullpen. He also said he is confident that the club will leave the winter meetings this week with a new closer. Looks like Putz is on deck.