Interestingly enough, the Rockies were connected to both key names in today’s blockbuster trade in past rumors. They were connected to Martin Prado last off-season because he seemed like the perfect upgrade to their need for a second baseman and for a right handed bat. Ultimately nothing materialized, and now Prado will be in the NL West as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They were connected to Justin Upton, because hey, who wasn’t connected to Justin Upton? Now he has finally been traded. He will join his brother B.J. Upton in the outfield for the Atlanta Braves.
I do not understand for a minute why the Diamondbacks were so desperate to trade a young star like Upton, who was under team control for years. The ups and downs of his career do not seem any different to me than those of other super-prospects who reach the big leagues at a young age. Unless something salacious comes out about Upton’s problems with the Diamondbacks behind closed doors, I do not see this as a good move. I believe that the rest of the NL West, especially the Dodgers and Giants, have to be smiling to themselves about seeing a lot less of Upton from now on.
Having said that, the Diamondbacks did receive a large package of players, adding to their already frightening pitching depth.
Prado, Delgado, Ahmed and Spruill for Upton and Johnson is what I have heard.
— BillShanks (@BillShanks) January 24, 2013
Reports indicate that the Diamondbacks will in fact receive 5 players, with 1B Brandon Drury the name left off of the initial list. The Braves also receive a third baseman in the enigmatic but still promising Chris Johnson. That Delgado would be Randall Delgado, whom the Rockies targeted in different trade discussions with the Braves over the last year or so.
So now the Upton brothers are together. Neither got much national attention last year, in Arizona and Tampa Bay respectively. You can bet they will be all over Sportscenter now, playing on the same team and facing the much-hyped Washington Nationals in the NL East.
There is some debate about whether or not the Diamondbacks got enough in return. Ultimately though, it seems that most people find that both teams came out OK.
A nice deal for both teams, IMO. Arizona gets a really nice hitter in Prado who fits their lineup, high-average guy. Prado 5.9 WAR last year
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 24, 2013
Although I believe you have to be on board with the theory that the Diamondbacks “had to trade Upton.” Which I’m not. And even if they did, it will be hard to justify this trade if he reaches anywhere near his potential in Atlanta.