Ever since the Yankees were defeated by the Rangers in the 2010 ALCS, General Manager Brian Cashman has been taking steps to re-tool the team for 2011.

He’s already been in contact with Cliff Lee and his agent in Arkansas.

He’s also in negotiations to keep Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and waiting to hear back on Andy Pettitte’s decision for 2011.

Now, there is a new name that is coming up regarding the Yankees’ interest.

According to Newsday, the Yankees have been in contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks inquiring about right fielder Justin Upton.

Apparently, Upton is on the trading block and several teams have reached out to Arizona to find out what they are looking for.

The new Diamondbacks GM, Kevin Towers, just spent all of 2010 working with the Yankees, so his relationship with Cashman is a good one.

But according to the Newsday report and Bob Nightengale, Arizona turned down an offer from the Yankees for the 23-year-old Upton, and is still listening to offers, one of which is coming from the Boston Red Sox.

The offer that the Yankees made to Arizona is unknown to the public and media, so it’s really hard to judge how fair the Yankees offer really was.

Upton might be a young and up-and-coming player, but some of his numbers are cause for concern.

First, his strikeout totals are through the roof. In 2010, he struck out a career high 152 times. He also struck out 137 and 121 times in the previous two seasons as a full time player.

While Upton strikes out a lot, his walk totals are not nearly as high, walking anywhere from 54-64 times per season, with his on-base percentage being around .356.

The Yankees build their team around guys who can work counts, draw walks and grind out at-bats, which current right fielder Nick Swisher does a great job at. Upton seems to be the opposite of that trend.

Upton does have a lot of upsides—being only 23 years old with home run power and only making $4.25 million in 2011, plus playing on a last place team, which makes him a very attractive target for teams looking to add through the trade market.

The Yankees also have a crowded outfield to begin with. They already have Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Swisher as the current starters, so one of them would have to be moved if Cashman decides to pursue Upton.

From what it looks like right now, the Red Sox seem to be more interested in pursuing Upton than the Yankees, who have their main sights set on Cliff Lee this offseason.

As much as it is a plus to add an offensive bat to the Yankees lineup, they need pitching more, which makes getting Lee a priority over Upton.

The Yankees already have Swisher, who hits around 30 home runs and 80 RBIs, plus can get on base and work counts. Now Swisher does strike out as well, striking out 139 times in 2010 and walking only 58 times, but in 2009, he drew 97 walks with 126 strikeouts, but got his average up from .249 in 2009 to .288 in 2010.

I think for the moment, the Yankees are set at right field with Swisher and should not pursue a trade for Upton.

I know a lot of people might disagree with that decision, especially because Upton is only 23. But I think right now, the Yankees need to concentrate on upgrading the pitching staff first before adding on to the offense.

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