The Braves have completed a dynamic new "Up, Up and a Hey" outfield, but they gave up popular veteran Martin Prado to make it happen.
In a blockbuster trade for two-time former All-Star outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson, the Braves gave up the versatile Prado along with pitcher Randall Delgado, pitching prospect Zeke Spruill, and minor league infielders Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury.
The deal was finalized Thursday morning pending physicals, a person familiar with the situation said.
Eight weeks after signing center fielder B.J. Upton to the biggest free-agent contract in franchise history (five years, $75.2 million), the Braves traded for his younger brother. Justin Upton, 25, finished fourth in the National League MVP balloting two years ago, when he had career-highs of 31 homers, 88 RBIs and 21 stolen bases and won the Fielding Bible Award as the best defensive right fielder in the majors.
He'll move to left field for Atlanta and Jason Heyward, a Gold Glove winner in 2012, will stay in right to give the Braves potentially the most exciting outfield in the majors for the next three years. Justin Upton is under contract through 2015 and owed $38.5 million, including $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
Upton is a .278 career hitter with 108 homers, a .357 on-base percentage and 80 stolen bases in 731 games. Before 2011 his best season was '09, when he hit .300 with 26 homers, 86 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
The Braves might still have close to $10 million to spend after trading away Prado's salary and adding Justin Upton. Braves CEO told the Journal-Constitution last week that the team has a $98 million payroll target this year.
Braves complete trade for Justin Upton
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jan 24