Around The NL West: Now What With Justin Upton?


We know what we are going to get from the San Francisco Giants. We think we know what we are going to get from the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the bottom half of the division, we think we know what we are going to get from the San Diego Padres. We know what we are going to get from the Colorado Rockies.

Things remain uncertain with Upton. Image: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Of course teams can surprise and move up or down in a way we did not anticipate. But speculating right now, in January, it is pretty reasonable to think we know how things will look for those four teams.

You know which team is a mystery? The Arizona Diamondbacks.

It feels like the Diamondbacks should have been better than they were last season. It’s not like they were a disaster with an 81-81 mark, but with a deep pool of young arms and coming off of a division title in 2011, it had to be considered a disappointment. For now the question is: which team is the real Diamondbacks?

They added to an already impressive rotation this offseason, including adding a total conflict of interest for me by signing Brandon McCarthy. I do not think anybody is worried about the Diamondbacks hitting enough. While we are talking about offense, I’ll say this: if Paul Goldschmidt figured things out down the stretch last season, I am confident he is next on the list of all-time Rockies killers.

As we try to make sense of who the Diamondbacks will be in 2013, there is one huge looming question: now what with Justin Upton?

And just what the heck is going on there, anyway? He is a 25 year old outfielder with all the tools and he’s under team control for three more years. Remind me why they have shopped him to seemingly every team in the league the last two offseasons? Are we missing something here?

Most recently the team reportedly locked a deal into place with the Seattle Mariners for Upton, only to have him exercise a limited no-trade clause. If things were strained between the front office and its star player before, this presumably did not help. Now the rumors with other teams will start again (cue baseball insider):

So we will see how things proceed from here. In a division with four teams that seem predictable, the Diamondbacks remain utterly unpredictable until this situation is resolved.