Braves trade for Justin Upton

Braves trade for Justin Upton
January 24, 2013, 11:45 am
Share This Post

The Atlanta Braves have pulled of a late offseason blockbuster on Thursday in acquiring two-time All-Star Justin Upton in a seven-player deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Upton will join his brother B.J. in Atlanta who in November signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the team as a free agent.

The Braves are sending five players to Arizona in the deal, including Martin Prado and pitcher Randall Delgado. Also going to the Diamondbacks are pitching prospect Zeke Spruill and infield prospects Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury. Along with Upton, the Braves get third baseman Chris Johnson who hit .281 with 15 homers and 76 RBI in 2012.

Upton goes to Atlanta to form perhaps the most dynamic and versatile outfield in the majors. He will slot in left field with his brother in center, and 23 year old All-Star Jason Heyward will remain in right. Together they are three athletic outfielders who can play defense and each hit 20+ home runs and steal 20+ bases in a season.

Atlanta won 94 games in 2012 and is clearly looking to take another step in contending with the Nationals who won 98. The Braves let Michael Bourn walk, but have since compiled one of the deepest lineups in the majors and have added to their already strong bullpen in acquiring Jordan Walden in December.

Upton was part of another trade proposal earlier this season, one involving the Seattle Mariners, but he used his no-trade clause to nix it. Seattle was prepared to send a substantial package of young prospects to Arizona in exchange for the young outfielder, but they were on a list of four teams he had designated under the provision.

Upton, 25, holds a .278/.357/.475 career slash with 108 homers and 80 stolen bases in six major league seasons. His best season was in 2011 when he hit .289 with 31 home runs, 88 RBI, and 21 steals.

The Braves are expected to use Johnson and infielder Juan Francisco as a platoon package at third base.