24 January 2013

Breaking down the Justin Upton trade to Atlanta

How about that, we've got the Upton brothers together in one outfield. Now, it is not quite when the three Alou brothers lined up in the outfield on September 15, 1963 but still, it's damn cool. And it happened by the big trade of the day when the Arizona Diamondbacks shipped Justin Upton as well as Chris Johnson to Hotlanta in return for Martin Prado as well as some prospects in pitchers Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill and infielders Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury. Upton now teams with his brother B.J., who signed with the Braves in late November, in the same Turner Field outfield.

This is a tremendous trade for the Braves, a questionable one for the Diamondbacks and a dream for the Upton parental units.

It has become clear that Arizona general manager Kevin Towers has soured on Justin Upton as he has made it his duty to deal him, and it is hard to see why he was so intent on doing so. Yes, Upton disappointed a little in 2012 after breaking through in 2011, where he was a contender for National League MVP, but he still had a fine season and most importantly, the guy is only 25 and he still has a few years before he enters his prime and will really start to scratch the surface of his enormous potential. Plus, he had three more years on his contract at a pretty reasonable $38 million remaining so until we find out why the Diamondbacks brass soured on Upton, this deal will not make any sense.

In the meantime, Prado will serve a valuable role for Arizona and he will be missed by the Braves, as they still have to look for a replacement at third for Chipper Jones. The D'Backs were fortunate to have a lot of outfielders and did not have anything of note at the hot corner and Prado brings a solid bat to that spot. And while Towers is known for doing his homework on prospects, he did not get any of the Braves' top prospects and none of the prospects he did get in return seem ready to contribute much in 2013.

For the Braves, this is an absolute home run. As I said, they did not give up their elite prospects and they maintain their excellent rotation. And not only will the Upton brothers team up and have some fun, they team up with another talented outfielder in Jason Heyward. Now Atlanta has an elite outfield with plenty of power and nobody older than 28. This is the kind of move that will vault the Braves not only into pennant contention but into serious contention for the Commissioner's Trophy.

No comments:

Post a Comment