The long-rumored trade between the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Justin Upton is apparently complete. Reports on the Twitter indicate that the deal is done pending physicals of the players. Here is Jon Heyman:
players are agreed to in Justin Upton trade. pending physical— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 24, 2013
Those players are rumored to be pitchers Randall Delgado, Sean Gilmartin, and Zeke Spruill -- three starting pitchers. Though that could be premature:
Bill Shanks is hearing that Martin Prado is involved:
Prado, Delgado, Ahmed and Spruill for Upton and Johnson is what I have heard.— BillShanks (@BillShanks) January 24, 2013
More confirmation of that package from Mark Bowman:
Source: Braves get Justin Upton and Chris Johnson from D-backs for Prado, Delgado, Ahmed and Spruill.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 24, 2013
The Braves outfield is about to go Up, Up, and a Hey!
Braves fans will be excited about getting Justin Upton, but they will likely be saddened by the departure of Martin Prado. But it seemed clear that the Braves didn't have any interest in signing Prado to a long-term deal, and he is a free agent at the end of the season. So they get maximum value for him, and they get a replacement third baseman in Chris Johnson, who is a year away from arbitration and four years away from free agency. At best Johnson could hold down the third base job, at worst he could be part of a lefty-righty third base platoon with Juan Francisco.
Parting with Randall Delgado is no problem for Atlanta. He wasn't going to be in Atlanta this year anyway, barring an injury. Zeke Spruill is way down on the Braves prospect starting pitching chart, with the Braves holding onto four or five guys they thought more highly of. Nick Ahmed is blocked at shortstop by Andrelton Simmons, so that is depth that Atlanta can afford to part with. It seems as though the Braves dealt from a great degree of depth to fill a big area of need, and acquired a player they will control for three more years.
Another player included in the trade is apparently Brandon Drury:
Drury is four or five years away from the Majors. He has good potential, but hasn't shown much patience yet. He seems like a throw-in, akin to what Jon Gilmore was in the Javier Vazquez trade with the White Sox several years ago.
So the full deal is Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Zeke Spruill, Nick Ahmed, and Brandon Drury. Ahmed rated by Talking Chop as the Braves ninth-best prospect, Spruill ranked 12th, and Drury ranked 20th.
This deal is a HUGE win for the Braves. Just HUGE. The Braves get another superstar bat that they have been craving, and they don't have to give up any of their top prospects.