Braves Make Trade With D-Backs To Obtain Outfielder Justin Upton

Atlanta Gives Up Martin Prado, Randall Delgado And Three Others

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Martin Prado
Martin Prado
- photo by Tim Evearitt
The Braves have reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Justin Upton from the D-backs in exchange for five players, including Martin Prado.

According to a Major League source, the Braves will get Upton and Chris Johnson in exchange for Prado, shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed, Class A infielder Brandon Drury and right-handed pitchers Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill. The deal is pending the completion of physicals.

With this trade, Braves general manager Frank Wren provides his club arguably the game’s best outfield. Earlier in the offseason, Wren signed Justin Upton’s older brother, B.J. Upton. Atlanta's projected outfield over at least the next three seasons will consist of Jason Heyward and the two Upton brothers.

The Braves now have a new-look outfield that will also feature B.J. Upton and Justin Upton. Justin signed with Atlanta as a free agent earlier in the off-season, agreeing to a five-year, $75.2MM contract. GM Frank Wren added balance to what had previously been a lefty-heavy lineup by acquiring the right-handed hitting Upton brothers.

Upton, the first overall selection of the 2005 draft, followed up a breakout 2011 season with a solid but unspectacular 2012 campaign. The 25-year-old hit 17 home runs and posted a .280/.355/.430 batting line in 628 plate appearances last year, his sixth season at the MLB level.

There are now three years and $38.5MM remaining on Upton's contract, including a $9.75MM salary in 2013. The contract includes a no-trade list which allows him to block trades to the Red Sox, Cubs, Blue Jays and Mariners. He exercised his no-trade rights earlier in the winter, blocking a proposed trade that would have sent him to Seattle.

To complete this trade, Wren had to part ways with Prado, who is one of the Braves’ most popular players among his teammates and the fans. But he was able to acquire Upton without giving up either of his top two pitching prospects, Julio Teheran or J.R. Graham.

Johnson hit a career-best 15 home runs last year while playing for the Astros and Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old posted a .281/.326/.451 batting line in 528 plate appearances in 2012. He'll earn $2.875MM in 2013 and will remain under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2016.

As a consequence of the trade, Johnson and Juan Francisco project as Atlanta's primary third basemen. The Braves may use the pair in a platoon at third.

------ Source: MLB.com

Randall Delgado pitching for the Mississippi Braves at AT&T Field in May, 2011.
Randall Delgado pitching for the Mississippi Braves at AT&T Field in May, 2011.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

PHOTOS: East Hamilton Notches Dramatic Win Over Walker Valley

Covenant Drops Pair To No. 9 Emory

Playing against one of the top Division III teams in the country, the Covenant softball team was unable to get anything going against two top pitchers and succumbed to No. 9 Emory 14-0 and 9-1 in a doubleheader Tuesday. The games drop Covenant to 9-13 on the year and continues a losing streak that now stands at six games in a row. Emory is now 24-2 for the season and have won ... (click for more)

Tennessee Broadband Expansion Bill Sought By EPB Put On Hold For Now

Advocates for broadband expansion in Tennessee, including Chattanooga's EPB, announced Tuesday that efforts to extend community-based fiber optic networks are being placed on hold for now "because there is not enough support among state lawmakers to change a state regulation that prevents the expansion of municipal fiber optic systems." EPB earlier won a ruling from the Federal ... (click for more)

Haslam Adds K-12 Funds In Budget Amendment

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks, including added funding for K-12. The governor last week met with school superintendents from the largest systems in the state over the issue of state funding for K-12. The next day, the Hamilton County Schools joined ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)