Reports: Braves Land Justin Upton in a Deal for Randall Delgado, Martin Prado, Zeke Spruill, and Nick Ahmed

justin uptonReports flying around this morning from a variety of sources say the Justin Upton deal is finally happening, pending physicals. He’s going to the Braves, together with decent third baseman Chris Johnson, in exchange for pitcher Randall Delgado (whom you may recall from the Ryan Dempster Trade Saga), Martin Prado, pitching prospect Zeke Spruill, and shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed. Buster Olney says the D-backs are also getting fringe prospect Brandon Drury, but others haven’t yet confirmed that one (and, frankly, his inclusion doesn’t really change the dynamic much).

My instant reaction is … that’s it? Seriously? Delgado is a very good pitching prospect, and Prado is a nice versatile player, but Spruill and Ahmed are merely fringe top 10 guys in the Braves’ system. And Prado’s a free agent after the year. Since Johnson has actual value, it looks like a really, really weak return for the Diamondbacks (particularly when compared to that failed Mariners deal, which, as I suggested it would, really undercut the offers the D-backs were going to receive).

Yes, the Cubs “could have beaten” this package, but the Diamondbacks wanted who they wanted, and the Cubs don’t have a Delgado. There’s also the matter of Upton’s no-trade clause, which allows him to block a deal to the Cubs. It’s interesting to have heard that the sticking point between the Cubs and D-backs was their insistence on the inclusion of Starlin Castro … I mean, Castro’s value faaaaaar outstrips the value of the package the D-backs received.

We’ll see how things shake out now across the league. The Diamondbacks may not deal another outfielder now, which could help Alfonso Soriano’s market. The Braves are out on Michael Bourn, though it sounds like the Rangers and Mets are emerging as favorites for him. The D-backs are once again loaded with pitching, so they may look to trade from a position of strength (hell, maybe they want to dangle Delgado to the Cubs, in whom everyone knows they have interest – though I couldn’t tell you what they’d want in return).

It will be very interesting to follow what this rather large domino falls into.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

121 responses to “Reports: Braves Land Justin Upton in a Deal for Randall Delgado, Martin Prado, Zeke Spruill, and Nick Ahmed”

  1. Whiteflag

    Sounds like the Dbacks are trying to corner the market on pitching prospects.

  2. Bilbo161

    Does anyone think Justin’s behavior could be moderated somewhat by playing with his brother?

    1. Mac

      I think they’ll help each other with behavior

    2. TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

      Or they could have a bit too much fun in their reunion. Hard to say.

    3. DocPeterWimsey

      That assumes that “behavior” is an issue. There is actually no evidence that this is true, and a lot of evidence to the contrary.

      1. Lou

        There are reports coming out of a difference in styles and thinking between him and Kirk Gibson. Don’t think it’s Upton’s lack of work ethic, though.

    4. JR

      What behavior are you talking about with Upton. It’s not like he is close to Milton Bradley or anything. He probably had a bit of a big head because he’s been an absolute elite stud his whole life at baseball, and #1 pick. But everything i have read is that he is a real good guy, that didn’t click with the Dback ways for whatever reason…

  3. Kyle

    I’m not in love with the trade from Arizona’s perspective, but a lot of the comments are severely underestimating Prado’s value.

    1. Mike Taylor (no relation)

      I think it’s the fact that he’s only under contract for this year. I would love to have Theo & Co sign him when he’s a free agent next year. Very versatile player who can hit. There’s also Ben Zobrist (who has an option) that fits the bill as well. Unless we’re going to go after Robinson Cano, but even then, having Cano at 2B and Prado in LF, that would just inverse the position on the “power numbers.”

  4. Tim

    Dbacks now are trying to flip nick Ahmed and another pitching prospect for Rick porcello

  5. Bigg J

    There is still talks that the Cubs still have a pretty good interest in Bourn. They deffinately need to trade Soriano or DeJesus before that though

  6. MichCubFan

    I haven’t read the first page of comments, but does anyone else think that we might have been in on Upton… and then signed Hairston after we learned that we were out on Upton?

  7. Bigg J

    Uh oh another Red Sox just hit the DFA in Lars Anderson. Is Theo going to go after his former prospect? (JK around)

    1. DarthHater

      Why isn’t the singular of Red Sox “Red Sock”?

      1. mudge

        Because they each wear two socks.

        1. DarthHater

          I guess that makes sense. Thanks. :-D

  8. notcubbiewubbie

    just think we almost had delgado; forgot why?????

  9. Lou

    Brett, you were talking about your discussion concerning value with Keith Law. I wanted to get your take on Joe Sheehan’s position regarding value. @JoeSheehan If you insist on baking a Prado extension into this deal, then you also have to include forfeiting the rights to negotiate with Upton. Thoughts?

  10. Xavier

    Does Campana have any minor league options left.

    1. Kyle

      He has two options remaining, but those don’t help us now. An option allows a player on the 40-man to not be put on the 25-man to start the season.

  11. john

    We’ll see if its a steal. Upton has had a sub-800 ops 2 of the last 3 years (below soriano), and has an extraordinary home-road split and is a headcase. I know Keith Law says to ignore those details (citiing matt holiday – who has never reaches his colorado seasons), but its possible that upton never heals, returns etc

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Sure, it’s possible. And it’s also possible that he’ll get hit by a meteorite tomorrow. You make good baseball teams by focussing on probable, not possible, and Justin Upton probably will post great numbers.

      Oh, and Upton probably is not a headcase: that’s a fantasy spun by the DBacks FO & Arizona sports media.

  12. ramy16

    Brett any news regarding the Cuban players..i see the A’s are in on the Ss Diaz.. And with already having Yoenis Cespedes in fold…i am sure he lobby for one of them?

  13. john

    What makes it “probable” upton will post “great numbers”? Far more probable is that he’ll preform in line with the past 3000 pa. He hit 17 homers in 2010 and 2012, had an ops+ under 110, his war was 1.7, 5.7, 2.1, and a substantial amount of his value is hitting at home. His closest comparable on baseball reference ia ruben sierra. The view that 2011 will be Upton’s basepoint is less likely than he’ll preform as he did the years before and after.

  14. ramy16

    Well guys Jair Jurrgens just signed with the Orioles! Damn! Wanted this guy to be in our rotation! We missed the boat on this one!

    1. Norm

      Yeah I don’t think the Cubs “missed” on anything there….

    2. MichiganGoat

      Why would you want Jurrjens? He had one good season and since then has done nothing but look horrible, his velocity is way down, he only got through five innings a few times, and his AAA numbers are not impressive. I’m guessing the O’s are hoping everyone (including their own scouts) are wrong and decided to tak a low cost risk on a player. He is similar Chone Figgins – everyone knows they are done but a few teams are betting a penny on an improbable jackpot. This is not what Theo & Jed are doing they are not blindly taking risks they are finding players that show projections predict future success they are not throwing dart at the “players who showed promise but now suck” board.

  15. Lukewarm Stove: Soriano, Bourn, Cuban Defectors, Jurrjens, Marcum, More | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] the Braves and Diamondbacks getting together on a huge deal yesterday, it’s fair to wonder if some other trade pieces are about to shake [...]

  16. ChicagoCubsTalk

    Smh…this is so frustrating