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D-backs’ Ken Kendrick a fan of Justin Upton, but glad saga is over

LISTEN: Ken Kendrick, D-backs general partner

For the course of three offseasons, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton was at the center of trade rumors.

The constant on-again, off-again rumors became the second-most annoying recurring sports story in Phoenix — and if you have to ask what the first is, you’re not a hockey fan.

Anyway, our long local nightmare came to an end January 24 when the D-backs struck a deal with the Braves that sent Upton, along with third baseman Chris Johnson, to Atlanta and returned five players to the desert, including former All-Star Martin Prado and starting pitcher Randall Delgado.

Ken Kendrick, the managing general partner of the Diamondbacks, joined Doug and Wolf from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the deal.

“Well I’d have to say yes,” Kendrick answered when asked if he was glad the deal was in the rear-view mirror. “I think it’s well-known that I’m a big Justin Upton fan, and continue to be and I hope he does very, very well.

“But in the final analysis, I think we were looking at making decisions in this offseason that would make the Diamondbacks a better team heading into the new year, and we the think the trade we made to get Martin Prado and others is a pretty good trade for our team.”

Kendrick then referenced an interview former Braves great Chipper Jones did in which he lamented Atlanta’s loss of Prado.

“For our fans who don’t yet know him, when you do get to and when you watch this young man play, I think you’ll begin to understand how important he is going to be to the future of this team,” Kendrick said. “Chipper Jones said he was his favorite teammate in his entire Braves career — that’s a very high compliment.”