Justin Upton appears back in play after Cody Ross signing

Has Arizona's surprise signing of Cody Ross put Justin Upton back into play as a viable trade candidate?

Depends who you ask, but it appears a possible trade for Upton has become a reality again.

If the Diamondbacks thought they were strong in the outfield before they signed Ross to a $26-million, three year free-agent contract -- and they did -- they have to believe they are absolutely stacked in the outfield now.

They will surely be entertaining offers, and as one person familiar with their thinking put it, flat out, "Someone will go.''

That means either Upton, the wunderkind who spends a lot of time on the trading block, Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra is likely to be dealt. And since it's not too likely that it'll be Parra, who the D-Backs want to keep for his defense, Upton is now one of two prime candidates to be traded.

Arizona owner Ken Kendrick remains a big fan of Upton's, as he suggested in this space a few weeks back. He is such a big fan sources suggest he'll need to be convinced any potential Upton trade is is something they need to do.

The Rangers and Mariners had been trying to trade for Upton earlier this winter, though Seattle is on his four-team no-trade list. The Phillies, Braves, Yankees, Mets and Rays are among other teams that could be in the market for an outfielder.

If he was confused earlier about all the rumors, Upton is said now to have become desensitised to all the trade talk. He's been the subject of trade rumors for three years, unusual for someone of his talent who's now only 25.

All along, general manager Kevin Towers has suggested he'd trade Upton if he could get his future shortstop out of the deal, and while Towers already has acquired top shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius without surrendering Upton, there's a belief Towers would still trade Upton if Texas was willing to give up one of its two fine young shortstops, the proven Elvis Andrus or the superb prospect Jurickson Profar (though there's no indication the Rangers are about to relent on either of those two).

Kubel had a very nice first year in Arizona, and could be a logical candidate to go in the new mix, too. However, the Diamondbacks couldn't expect an enormous return for Kubel, leaving Upton as a trade possibility yet again.

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