The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a seven player deal.
Reggie Von Bartles
Hot Stove: Justin Upton Traded to the Atlanta Braves
Thursday January 24th, 2013
Upton, 25, joins his brother, B.J. Upton, in the Braves outfield starting in 2013. With the addition of Justin Upton, the Braves likely have the best outfield in all of Major League Baseball. Atlanta's outfield will consist of Justin and B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward.
Here's the breakdown of players that were moved today:
Justin Upton - OF
Chris Johnson - 3B
Martin Prado - INF/OF
Randall Delgado - RHP
Zeke Spruill - RHP
Brandon Drury - INF
Nick Ahmed - INF
After several months of trade rumors, Arizona finally moved Justin Upton. The 25-year-old outfielder hit .280/.355/.430 with a .785 OPS and 17 home runs last season. Although most would consider this a "good" season, it simply wasn't the year many expected based on Upton's true talent. In 2011, Upton hit 31 home runs, posted a .898 OPS and was worth 6.4 fWAR (Wins Above Replacement) according to Fangraphs.
However, it's been documented that Upton was dealing with a thumb injury for most of the 2012 season, and as we've seen with many hitters (David Ortiz, Jose Bautista, etc) - a hand/wrist injury can severely dampen a hitter's offensive output. For his career, Upton is a .278/.357/.475 hitter, including a .832 OPS and 108 home runs in 731 major league games over 6 seasons.
In addition to Upton, the Braves also received Chris Johnson to help with the third base position. Johnson, 28, is a career .276/.315/.430 hitter in 4 big-league seasons. He hit .281/.326/.451 in 136 games last season while splitting time between the Houston Astros and Diamondbacks. With the retirement of Chipper Jones, Johnson figures to split time at third base with Juan Francisco.
For Arizona, one of the five players they received from the Braves is Martin Prado. Prado, 29, has spent his entire 7 year big-league career with the Braves. In 2012, he hit .301/.359/.438 with 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases. Overall for his career, he's a .295/.345/.435 hitter in 683 games. In addition to great offense, Prado also provided the Braves with defensive versatility, as he played six different positions during his time in Atlanta. Prado figures to be the everyday third baseman for Arizona in 2013. He's a free agent after next season, but is reportedly working on an extension with the Diamondbacks.
In addition to Prado, the Diamondbacks also added more pitching depth with the acquisition of Randall Delgado. Delgado, 22, has a big-league record of 5-10 with a 3.95 ERA and 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings. In 18 games last season (17 starts), Delgado was 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. In 110 minor-league games, Delgado has a 3.60 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. With all the starting pitching depth in Arizona, Delgado figures to start the 2013 season in the minor leagues.
Regarding the prospects heading to Arizona. Who better to discuss the prospects than a group of writers who actually covers the team? Ethan Purser over at Capitol Avenue Club discusses the players that were sent to Arizona.
For fantasy purposes, nothing particularly changes in value as far as Justin Upton and Martin Prado. I have both players rated appropriately, and if anything, Prado should have a slight bump in value by heading to Arizona.
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