The Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal to unite outfielder Justin Upton in Atlanta with his brother B.J. in exchange for do-it-all man Martin Prado, and prospects Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, and Zeke Spruill. If you think the deal was coup perpetrated by the Braves, you'd be correct.
Atlanta gets arguably one of the three best under-26-year-old outfielders in baseball (who isn't scheduled to hit free agency until 2016) for about 50 cents on the dollar. While Justin Upton is coming off a disappointing year by his standards with offensive numbers consisting of .280/.355/.785 with a WAR of 2.1, he now joins an outfield which features Jason Heyward and his brother B.J., making it one of the most athletic groups in all of baseball.
Last season the Braves finished seventh in the NL in both runs scored (700) and on-base percentage (.320), and sixth in stolen-base percentage (76.00). By adding the Uptons to accompany Heyward, those numbers should certainly be expected to climb. The Braves now have a tremendous core of young talent under the age of 29 years old when you add first baseman Freddie Freeman to the mix, as are all young, talented players that could be in Atlanta for a long time.
Where Atlanta really benefited though was in the assets they didn't give up in the deal. The Braves didn't have to part with the three best prospects in their organization — pitchers
Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran, and catcher Christian Bethancourt — so they still have the ammo in terms of young talent to make a move for rotation help during the season.
Meanwhile, if you're a Diamondbacks fan you have to be scratching your head. Arizona finished with a .500 record last season, yet showed loads of promising frontline pitching in Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, and Wade Miley. Andy Towers is heralded as one of the brighter mid-market general managers in baseball and made great moves this winter by bringing in pitcher Brandon McCarthy, outfielder Cody Ross, and giving out short-term money for quality utility players like Eric Hinske and Eric Chavez. All the deals give the Diamondbacks long-term financial flexibility while having the sixth-best farm system in baseball (according to ESPN's Keith Law).
The centerpiece of the deal for Arizona was around Martin Prado. Still only 29 years old and able to play the outfield, first base, and second base very well, Prado is perhaps the best combination of talent and positional versatility in the game. He also isn't scheduled to become a free agent until 2014. With a crowded outfield already that necessitated the trade, and Aaron Hill at second, the D-Backs will likely put Prado (who finished ninth in the MVP voting in 2010) at third base to start the season. But this could also be the precursor to another deal by packaging up Jason Kubel and another prospect for another starting pitcher, or help in the bullpen.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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