Upon hearing the news that seems to have every baseball fantasy league player in a tizzy – that the Braves have traded Martin Prado (and less significant pieces) to Arizona for outfielder Justin Upton (and a less significant piece), these were my first three thoughts:
1.) The Braves have now acquired two Uptons this winter and neither one is Kate. So let's not make this out to be such a dream offseason. (Sorry. Had to get that in.)
2.) Martin Prado? I understand the Braves' outfield of Justin Upton (left), B.J. Upton (center) and Jason Heyward (right) potentially ranks as the best defensive outfield in baseball and that those three players last season combined for 72 home runs, 227 runs batted in, 279 runs scored and 70 stolen bases. But dealing Prado is a significant risk by general manager Frank Wren. He's a tremendous player, an even better guy in the clubhouse and unbelievably versatile. And yes, I understand the would-be financial ramifications with Prado going to arbitration and eventually being a free agent. I'll get into this more later.
3.) This is Wren's team. He has completely remade this roster over the past five seasons. It was going to be interesting to see how he handled matters this winter with Chipper Jones retiring and his salary coming off the books. Now we know: he made the deals for the two Uptons and traded pitcher Tommy Hanson, once considered a jewel of a prospect. The extreme makeover is complete.
Braves get another good Upton, but dealing Prado is a risk
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jan 24