“The Diamondbacks are making it clear to potential suitors they intend to “win” any trade involving Upton, who is 23 and under contract through 2015.”
What does that even mean? What team is going to say “yes, Arizona, we understand. We will make sure that any offer to you will be such that you receive greater value in this transaction than we would receive in return. That is completely reasonable in our view.”
No trade happens unless the other team thinks it’s getting a good deal too. That could mean a good deal in players. That could mean salary relief. That could mean a lot of things. But what executive would actually be on board with the notion that the other team must come out on top, or else no trade is made?
None. Which means that this sort of thing is merely P.R. signaling by someone. Either the Diamondbacks, trying to calm fans who are worried about them trading a guy who, ten minutes ago, was supposed to be the future of the franchise (i.e. telling them that, by definition, the trade will be a win for us), or other teams who want to have an excuse ready for fans when they do not land Upton despite having the players and the need to make it happen (i.e. the Diamondbacks wanted too much).