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Report: D-backs again interested in trading Justin Upton

In what has becoming seemingly a yearly offseason event, the Arizona Diamondbacks are once again trying to trade two-time All-Star right fielder Justin Upton, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The 25-year-old Upton had a disappointing 2012 campaign which saw him hit .280, a mark consistent with his career numbers. But his stats dropped substantially from 2011 in several categories, including home runs (31 to 17), RBI (88 to 67) and slugging percentage (.529 to .430).

In his story, Rosenthal cites insiders who say there’s a very distinct chance Upton will be moved by opening day 2013.

Major-league sources, however, say the team is again engaged in active discussions about Upton, and one estimates the chances of him playing elsewhere next season are “80-20.”

The D-backs tried to trade Upton following both the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons, and his name was mentioned in frequent trade rumors before last July’s trade deadline.

The Diamondbacks will be seeking help on the left side of their infield this offseason, and have already traded for Oakland shortstop Cliff Pennington. As Rosenthal points out, Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus could make sense as a trade target, as the Rangers will likely be trying to fill the hole in the lineup if Josh Hamilton should leave via free agency.

Additionally, Texas has shortstop Jurickson Profar in their system, and the 19-year-old is considered by most to be the top infield prospect in all of baseball, making Andrus expendable.