Braves making push to gain another Upton
The Braves have shown great interest whenever it has become apparent that the D-backs would be willing to trade Justin Upton. Now with Spring Training less than three weeks away, they are hoping to land the talented young outfielder.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the D-backs have received a trade offer that is believed to be from the Braves. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman took it a step further by saying that the Braves have made a “strong offer” in exchange for Upton.
The D-backs are believed to be attempting to trade either Upton or Jason Kubel, who is believed to be drawing interest from the Orioles. Multiple sources have said that Arizona’s general manager Kevin Towers wants to get one of these deals done before Friday.
The Braves’ interest in this potential deal dates back to November when they signed Justin Upton’s older brother, B.J. Upton, to a five-year, $75.25 million contract. There is certainly an appeal to the prospect of having the two Uptons and Jason Heyward in the same outfield for at least the next three seasons.
When the Braves first showed interest in Justin Upton, the D-backs were interested in Atlanta’s dazzling young shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has essentially been deemed untouchable.
Nearly two months later, the elements have changed. By trading their top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer in December, the D-backs gained the top-flight shortstop — Didi Gregorious — that they had been seeking. Now they are looking for top young arms — a commodity the Braves can satisfy.
Any deal the Braves make for Upton would likely have to include Julio Teheran and at least one of their other top young pitching prospects, likely either Sean Gilmartin or Zeke Spruill. Nick Ahmed, a blue collar shortstop who has been compared to Jeff Blauser, could also draw interest from Arizona.
Upton used his partial no-trade rights to block a trade that would have sent him to the Mariners last week. That trade would have included three of Seattle’s top six prospects and Charlie Furbush, who posted a 2.72 ERA in 48 big league relief appearances last year.
The Braves are financially in position to acquire Upton, who would be owed $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in ’14 and $14.5 million in ’15.