PHOENIX -- As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers has made it clear that he is willing to deal.
"I'm open-minded on anybody, everybody," Towers said. "Even guys who have no-trade clauses."
That means that even right fielder Justin Upton could be headed elsewhere if the right deal presented itself.
One thing that seems unlikely, though, is that the D-backs will become sellers at the deadline.
"This division, when you look at it, nobody is going to run away with it," Towers said of the National League West. "Nobody. We're still within striking distance."
So in any deal, the D-backs will want to make sure that whomever they get in return will help them this season.
That's typically the definition of a buyer come the deadline, but Towers bristles at the terms buyers and sellers.
"Who really knows if you're buying or selling?" Towers said. "You may be perceived as selling, but what you're buying back may end up being better. I look at it that when you're selling, you're still buying. I hate those terms -- selling or buying. Fans are going to perceive it in a certain way, but even if it's perceived as a sell in the short-term or long-term, it's buying."
The biggest need the D-backs have is at third base, which has been a sore spot throughout the first half.
Ryan Roberts, the Opening Day starter, has not hit consistently, and the team's experiment with Triple-A Reno's Josh Bell did not last very long. Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald and Geoff Blum have all seen time at the position.
Second on the list would probably be the bullpen.
A lot has been asked of the relievers so far this season, and the D-backs could look to fortify their arms. Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez, Craig Breslow and Bryan Shaw have all made at least 34 appearances, and giving them a breather could wind up being important.
With the injury to Daniel Hudson and the struggles of Trevor Bauer in his first two starts, there was talk that the D-backs might try to strengthen their rotation.
That seems unlikely, given the fact that Bauer pitched better in his third outing and the team still has young hurlers Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs waiting in the Minors.
Though it might be true that Upton could be had, the price would be a steep one.
"There's certain guys that are going to be harder to move than anybody," Towers said, and you can bet that Upton, who is only 24 and under club control through 2015, is one of them.
Though there are Minor Leaguers that Towers would no doubt deal in order to get some veteran help for the stretch, don't look for him to part with such top pitching prospects as Bauer, Skaggs and Corbin. Had Hudson not been lost for the year to Tommy John surgery, the D-backs probably would have dealt veteran Joe Saunders.
One players the D-backs could move before July 31 is shortstop Stephen Drew.
Drew has a mutual contract option for 2013, but -- especially with managing general partner Ken Kendrick publicly questioning Drew's dedication last month -- it seems that both sides will go their separate ways after the season.
With that in mind, and given the fact that Bloomquist and McDonald have done a nice job filling in for Drew over the second half of last season and the first half of this one, the team could deal Drew for third base, bullpen help or even some prospects and not feel as though they're losing any production.
The D-backs do have a surplus of outfielders as well. With Gerardo Parra stuck on the bench and youngsters A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton waiting in the wings, they could deal center fielder Chris Young, who has struggled since injuring his shoulder in April.