There is something about the potential Justin Upton trade that I haven't seen mentioned much. We've all read and discussed the way Justin's contract, which runs through 2015, makes him more than just a rental. And it's true- Upton could help us contend this year, next year, and even two years after that.
But that also means that we could put ourselves in the Diamondbacks current position anytime we want.
In fact, assuming Upton returns to his 30-homer form at some point during the next few years, the Pirate should be able to get back at least what they'll give up to acquire him this summer. In other words, he could turn out to be a FREE rental player. Quentin will cost less than Upton this month, but that initial cost will be the net cost. Upton's initial cost can be offset- to at least some degree- by a follow-up move. And that follow-up move can be made at out discretion. If we continue to contend from now until 2015, then we can keep him. If not, wait for the July that he's red hot and move him. It's up to us.
Factor this in and I don't think an Upton trade is the risky move with polarized potential outcomes that it's being framed as in a lot of places.