MLB

GM : Unlikely that team will trade Upton, Drew

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PHOENIX (AP)

Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers says it's ''highly unlikely'' the team will trade outfielder Justin Upton or shortstop Stephen Drew this season.

Towers spoke to reporters before Tuesday night's game against Colorado and explained that it was other clubs asking, not the Diamondbacks offering, that led to all the rumblings about Upton being dealt.

''I think what people need to know, specifically in Justin's case, is I didn't throw his name out there and say `Hey, he's available,''' Towers said.

Towers said has not seen any offer for either player that would make the Diamondbacks a better team, and said Arizona still considers itself a winner contending for a playoff spot.

Drew is coming off a severe ankle injury and has a $10 million mutual option for next season. If the Diamondbacks opt out of the deal, Drew gets a $1.35 million buyout.

Upton has consistently raised his batting average in recent weeks.

Towers spoke after team owner Ken Kendrick was quoted as saying the team won't trade Upton. He said he always listens when teams call.

''It was clubs called about him and asked about him based on where our club was at at the time and him struggling a little bit earlier in the year,'' Towers said. ''That's kind of where all this got started. It's perceived as the organization, by some media outlets, that we just want to get rid of the guy. That's not the case. That's never been the case. He's a great player and a good player and good Diamondback player and somebody that we respect a lot.''

Towers acknowledged he did call clubs about Upton in 2010 when the team was playing poorly but isn't doing so now.

''There really hasn't been any sort of deal that presented itself that really made us even think about doing anything with Justin,'' Towers said. ''Right at this point in time I would say it's highly unlikely, based on the way the team's playing and the way he's been performing the last two or three weeks. We think we've still got a chance to win right now. I haven't seen anything out there that makes us a better ball club in 2012 that's better than Justin Upton.''

Towers said the same for Drew, whose contract situation has created trade speculation

Drew broke his right ankle and tore all the ligaments around it in a slide into home against Milwaukee on July 20 of last year. It was a brutal injury, the foot turning although way around and pointing away from his back before Drew instinctively grabbed and twisted it back in the right direction. Rehabilitating was excruciating and he wasn't able to return to the majors until a month ago.

His return, along with the activation of John McDonald from the disabled list, gives the team three shortstops, with Willie Bloomquist, batting .307 entering Tuesday's game, getting most of the starts. Bloomquist, though, could see more play at third base with Ryan Roberts designated for assignment, then traded on Tuesday.

Some teams see Drew as the odd man out. But so far Towers has said no deal.

''People kick tires, they ask about him. I don't blame them,'' Towers said. `But I haven't seen anything about trading Stephen Drew that will make us a better ball club.''

Although, he added, ''if we fall out of this thing, maybe it's different.''

Tagged: Diamondbacks, Stephen Drew, Justin Upton

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