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Waiting for an Upton trade? Be patient (and don't count on him landing with the Rangers)

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- If you're waiting for the Justin Upton trade, here's some advice:

Be patient.

The buzz about the Diamondbacks trading their All-Star outfielder, which Jon Heyman wrote about Wednesday, didn't diminish on Thursday. But the chances of a quick deal seemed to be much less, and the chances that Upton lands with the Rangers also more distant.

The Rangers, sources said, will not part with either of their two talented shortstops, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. The Diamondbacks, for their part, don't see a possible match with the Rangers without getting one of the two in return.

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers didn't get into specifics, but he did indicate that this could take a while. The Diamondbacks believe that the market for Upton could pick up once some of the free-agent outfielders begin to sign.

"So far nothing's really lined up yet," Towers said Thursday afternoon. "Early in the process, they all want the bargain deal. I'm in no rush.

"I think it's less likely that something happens sooner rather than later."

Towers continued to maintain that he's very willing to keep Upton, who is signed for three more years. But he didn't put any deadline on possible talks, and he freely admits that he's willing to make a trade if he can get a good enough return.

"Our sights are set pretty high," he said.

Towers has made it clear to teams that he wants help on the left side of the infield, or a No. 1 starting pitcher. He has also made it clear that he needs major-league players.

"We're not in position to do prospect deals," he said.

The problem Towers faces now is that teams that have what he wants aren't willing to move, at least not yet. Shortstop has become one of the toughest positions to fill, and true No. 1 starting pitchers are always at a premium.

The Rangers would have been a good fit, because they have two shortstops. The problem is that they love both of them, and seem perfectly willing to find other ways to fit both into their 2013 lineup, besides trading one of them.

Profar could end up playing second base, with Ian Kinsler moving to the outfield.

Upton fits the Rangers well, because they'll need someone to replace the power they'll lose when Josh Hamilton doesn't re-sign. While the Rangers haven't publicly given up on retaining Hamilton, every indication has been that they won't at all mind seeing him sign elsewhere.

 
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