After years of speculation and one blocked trade, Justin Upton is no longer a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 25 year old outfielder was traded along with third baseman Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for third baseman/outfielder Martin Prado, 23 year old starting pitcher Randall Delgado, and three prospects: shortstop Nick Ahmed, pitcher Zeke Spruill, and first baseman Brandon Drury. With the addition of Upton, the Atlanta Braves will now field one of the best young, athletic outfields in Major League Baseball as he joins older brother BJ Upton and 22 year old Jason Heyward. For the Braves, the trade not only improves them for this season, but it gives them one of the game’s most exciting offensive players for the next three years at a team friendly price. For the Diamondbacks, the benefits are far murkier.
While the Braves do give up Martin Prado, a quality, versatile hitter, they add a potential superstar who isn’t even in his prime. In six seasons, Upton has compiled a .278/.357/.475 line with an average season of 28 doubles, 5 triples, 21 home runs, 70 RBI, and 16 stolen bases. Until last season, Upton had been steadily improving each season. Over the past two seasons, he has rid himself of the injury prone label as well. His breakout season looked like it was 2011 when he hit .289/.369/.529, but last season saw him step back as he hit just .280/.355/.430.