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

Bearettes Whip Cleveland For Eighth Straight Win

Four players scored in double figures Tuesday night as the undefeated Bradley Central Bearettes routed arch-rival Cleveland 63-40 in District 5-3A high school basketball action at Jim Smiddy Arena. The Bearettes (8-0) won handily despite shooting just 37 percent (14 of 36) from the floor. They only made 4 of 15 shots behind the 3-point line (26.7 percent). Bradley’s most ... (click for more)

Local Star Rawls Powers Hamilton Heights To 97-49 Win

A local basketball product turned in his best offensive performance of the young season in Hamilton Heights’ 97-49 rout of visiting Covenant Ministries on Tuesday night. Jordan Rawls, a sophomore who had played at East Hamilton and Ooltewah before joining the Hawks, scored a career-high 26 points. The 6-foot Rawls, who had scored only 18 points in his previous seven ... (click for more)

City Council Approves $2.19 Million Purchase Of Body Cameras For Police Officers

The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve the $2,191,544 purchase of body cameras for city police officers. Councilman Chip Henderson, who heads the council's public safety committee, said the purchase was already included in the budget. The city will get some help from the federal government in the form of a grant for almost $300,000 toward the expense. ... (click for more)

Fire Lieutenant Who Caught Baby Dropped From 3rd Floor Of Burning Building Has To Give Up Career Over Incident

A Chattanooga Fire Department officer who was hailed as a hero after catching a baby dropped by the mother from the third floor of a burning building lost his career as a result of the incident. City officials said after Lt. Vernon Lane caught the 10-month-old baby boy that the mother then jumped and landed on him. He suffered severe injuries and has been unable to work ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)