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Trade speculation doesn't distract D-backs' Kubel

PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel is aware that his name has been involved in trade rumors for much of the winter, but he expects to be at Salt River Fields wearing an Arizona uniform when Spring Training opens next month.

"I haven't really thought other than that," Kubel said. "If something happens, it happens, but I'm looking forward to getting back to that beautiful facility again and start going."

When the 2012 season ended, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said one of his offseason priorities was to thin out a crowded outfield.

With that in mind, he dealt Chris Young to the A's and spent much of the rest of the winter listening to offers on Justin Upton, as well as Kubel.

The D-backs surprised the industry last month by signing free-agent outfielder Cody Ross. The move left them with Kubel, Upton, Gerardo Parra and Ross, not to mention Adam Eaton, who was presumed to be the center fielder in 2013, and Triple-A outfielder A.J. Pollock.

Towers said after the Ross signing that he doesn't have to move an outfielder before the season because both Eaton and Pollock have Minor League options. Still, it seems likely that one of the outfielders will get dealt, especially with the Arizona payroll sitting at $95 million after the Ross signing.

And unless some team overwhelms Towers with an offer for Upton, it appears Kubel, with one year and a mutual option left on his contract, would be the one to go.

The D-backs could be counting on a dwindling outfield market to raise the price for Kubel or Upton.

"I don't buy into them much," Kubel said of the trade rumors, "but I'm not going to lie -- it is a little nerve-wracking. We all understand that it's a business and I'm ready for whatever. Whatever happens, happens. I really want to stay where I'm at."

In the meantime, the man who hit 30 homers and drove home 90 runs with an .833 on-base plus slugging mark tries to look at the bright side of all the talk.

"It just means there's interest out there, that's all," Kubel said. "If someone is willing to acquire you, they obviously really like you."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Read More: Arizona Diamondbacks, Cody Ross, A.J. Pollock, Jason Kubel, Justin Upton, Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton