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Rays rumors: Tampa Bay a suitor for Diamondbacks OF Justin Upton?

Could the Rays replace B.J. Upton with his brother?

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

It remains to be seen if the Tampa Bay Rays have the position players to match up in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks centering around outfielder Justin Upton, but there’s no question the club has the starting pitching to spare, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

It remains to be seen if they can match up given the Diamondbacks' primary desire for a top young shortstop, as the best the Rays could offer is prospect Hak-Ju Lee.

But the Rays do have starting pitching to spare.

The Diamondbacks are reportedly seeking a young and talented shortstop prospect in trades involving Upton. While Lee entered the 2012 season ranked as Baseball America’s 44th-best prospect in the league, he endured a disappointing year at the Double-A level. Over 475 at-bats the 22-year-old hit .261/.336/.360 with 15 doubles, 10 triples and four home runs.

While Lee may not intrigue the Diamondbacks, the Rays have several elite arms that they could be willing to trade this winter. James Shields would seem to top this list, but fellow right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has also had his name tossed around in trade rumors recently. While it would appear a long shot, others have speculated that the team may even consider trading ace David Price.