After two months of swirling trade rumors, Justin Upton awoke to the best possible scenario Thursday morning and this text message from his brother B.J. Upton:
"Did this really just happen?"
The Atlanta Braves had kicked off their offseason by making free agent center fielder B.J. Upton a club-record $75 million richer. They just capped it by making him even happier. They traded for his younger brother, sending All-Star Martin Prado, right-hander Randall Delgado and three prospects to Arizona for Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson.
What B.J. first jokingly pleaded for over a steak dinner with Braves general manager Frank Wren in November didn't seem likely at the time because Arizona had been asking for star shortstop Andrelton Simmons in return.
But with time and a failed attempt to trade Upton to Seattle, Arizona's asking price began to fall, and the Braves made another run at it. Talks intensified Monday and continued until Wren and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers found a fit.
The Braves exchanged one more year from Prado, who is eligible for free agency after the season, Delgado, and minor league infielders Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury and right-hander Zeke Spruill (a Kell High graduate), for the next three years of an outfield made up of Upton, Upton and Jason Heyward.
"We're extremely excited to add a talent of the level of Justin Upton to our outfield," Wren said to 29 media members on an afternoon conference call. "(He's) a young dynamic player that arguably gives us one of the best outfields in the game."
Upton excited to join brother as a Brave
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jan 25