Braves trade Prado, get Upton

Atlanta gets the brother of one of its new outfielders

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PHOENIX — Justin Upton is having a family reunion in Atlanta.

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Upton

Arizona traded its star right fielder to the Braves on Thursday in a seven-player deal that sent former All-Star infielder Martin Prado to the Diamondbacks.

For the first time since he was a high school freshman, Upton will have older brother B.J. Upton as a teammate.

The brothers combine with Jason Heyward, who won a Gold Glove in 2012, in an outfield potentially packed with power and speed.

“If we push ourselves to the next level, I feel with the extra push from each other there’s no question we can be the best outfield in baseball,” Justin Upton said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to give us that label until we prove it.”

The Braves, who also get third baseman Chris Johnson, are giving up one of their top pitching prospects, Randall Delgado, and three minor leaguers in the deal.

They are right-hander Zeke Spruill, shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Brandon Drury.

Justin Upton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, has played five full major league seasons. Last season, he hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI and a career-high 107 runs.

In 2011, while helping Arizona win the NL West, Upton hit .289 with career-best totals of 31 home runs and 88 RBI and finished fourth in NL MVP voting. He’s a career .278 hitter with 108 home runs and 80 stolen bases.

Upton said he hopes to become a more consistent player in Atlanta.

“I’ve had a couple good years where I put up good numbers and my goal all along has been to put those years up consistently,” he said. “I think now I’m in a position with Atlanta … we can really feed off each other throughout that lineup to try to get everybody to that consistent production rate.”

Delgado, a 23-year-old right-hander, had been expected to challenge for a spot in the Braves rotation. His acquisition bolsters the young pitching depth in Arizona depleted by the trade of Trevor Bauer. Delgado was 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 18 appearances, 17 as a starter, for the Braves. Rated Atlanta’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America the past two years, he was 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA with Triple-A Gwinnett last season.

The trade leaves Arizona with three veteran outfielders – Cody Ross, Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra – along with two youngsters the team feels are ready for the majors – Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock. Towers projects Eaton as a center fielder and a prototypical leadoff hitter.

Towers said the addition of Ross and a top contact hitter in Prado changes the character of the club.

“I would say we’re going to be a little different club,” he said. “I think we can still hit home runs, but I think the last couple of years we’ve relied too much on the long ball. If you look at our record, those days that we didn’t homer, we usually didn’t win.”

Comments (11) Add comment
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justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/24/13 - 12:24 pm
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What?

So, who plays third? I hate seeing Prado go. Upton is a great pickup though.

saywhatagain
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saywhatagain 01/24/13 - 02:35 pm
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Kate Upton?

Alllllll righty then!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/24/13 - 03:24 pm
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Kate

Can she play 3rd?? Just a tad is all that would be required. Basically...stand there.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/24/13 - 04:38 pm
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Prado was a versatile, easy

Prado was a versatile, easy to get along with player. I don't understand the Braves sometimes. They keep some players forever, but get rid of some great ones. Remember David Justice?

justthefacts
21359
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justthefacts 01/24/13 - 05:07 pm
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Contract

Braves tried to sign Prado to a long term contract. He wanted to be a free agent next year.

Riverman1
82268
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Riverman1 01/24/13 - 05:12 pm
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Yeah, JTF, I saw that free

Yeah, JTF, I saw that free agent next year thing, but still...they seem to work it out for some. Prado was a good, fun, easy going player. It just ticks me off to lose him.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/24/13 - 05:39 pm
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I know

Me too.

rmwhitley
5542
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rmwhitley 01/24/13 - 06:22 pm
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We could still
Unpublished

bring in another left-fielder from Venezuala---- hugo chavez.

Riverman1
82268
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Riverman1 01/24/13 - 06:54 pm
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Kate Upton at third would

Kate Upton at third would give the hot corner a whole new meaning.

justthefacts
21359
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justthefacts 01/25/13 - 10:13 am
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Super Bowl

Wait until you see the Kate Upton Super Bowl ad....

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/25/13 - 10:24 am
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The deal makes sense on

The deal makes sense on paper. Then again, on paper we should have been in the post-season last season.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/26/13 - 09:53 am
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LAUGHING MY BUTT OFF!!

Until the Braves get some decent ownership

allhans
23538
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allhans 01/26/13 - 11:29 am
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My favorite Braves..now gone.

My favorite Brave..now gone.

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