Thursday, January 24, 2013

Braves Acquire Justin Upton

In a seven player trade, the Atlanta Braves have acquired OF Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Also coming to Atlanta will be 3B Chris Johnson who will have some BIG shoes to fill for Chipper Jones who has finally retired.  The Braves will ship a package to Arizona including 3B/OF Martin Prado, SP Randall Delgado, SS Nick Ahmed & P Zeke Spruill.  The Braves will also send 1B Brandon Drury to the DBacks.  The move will see the Braves with BOTH Justin and B.J. Upton, who the Braves signed early this winter to a 5 year $75 mil deal. 

The last 5 years has seen a DRASTIC shift in the National League East.  Just as soon as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies were building a heated rivalry, the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have now become the favorites to win the NL East & represent the National League in the World Series.

Justin Upton will now be the focal point of the Braves offense, while B.J. should move to the leadoff spot, only because they have no one else. I do not suggest or endorse they do that.  Jason Heyward could now be the #2 guy as Upton gets slotted into the #3 hole in front of Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla.  That lineup boosts a TON of run scoring potential but could also EASILY lead the league in strikeouts.  Juan Francisco is now out of a position and will be a role player as JUpton takes over Martin Prado's OF spot and Chris Johnson steals Francisco 3B job.

Over in Arizona, the Diamondbacks have done a complete re haul of their lineup that now will feature Jason Kubel, Cody Ross and Gerardo Parra in the OF.  Parra is the guy who gets the biggest bump in OF Fantasy Rankings if he now gets to play everyday.  If the organization decides to give the gig to Adam Eaton, expect him to hit from the leadoff spot.  Eaton gets on base like a champ and has the speed to hit 40+ doubles and steal 40+ bases.  According to numerous reports, Diamonbacks manager Kirk GIbson says he would like to use all 4 OFs and give them each 400-500 ABs.  At that rate all 4 have fantasy value and Eaton's projections should be 30+ doubles and 30+ stolen bases. 

The D'Backs also made a huge 3 way deal earlier this winter with Cleveland Indians and Cincinatti Reds when they dealt Ace Prospect Pitcher Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians in return for Speedy SS Prospect Didi Gregorious from the Reds.  It is unlikely that Randall Delgado makes the club out of Spring Training as Tyler Skaggs is currently the front runner for the 5th slot in the rotation, but Brandon McCarthy has trouble staying healthy so I have no doubt that Delgado will make some starts this summer. 

Be sure to check out MLB Depth Charts for updated projections on both the Braves and Diamondbacks

For the latest updates on the deal check out MLB Trade Rumors

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