Reaction to Justin Upton, Chris Johnson and Martin Prado trade
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Last week, the Atlanta Braves landed Justin Upton, a former number-one draft pick (2005), to play along side newly signed B.J. Upton and Gold Glove-winner Jason Heyward. Justin hit .280/.355/.430 with 17 home runs, 68 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases last year. It seems like a perfect marriage right? Let’s examine the trade for both sides.
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So, what did the Diamondbacks get in return?
Martin Prado (3B) - Prado recently signed a four-year deal worth $40MM with the Diamondbacks, which makes the deal that much better. It was expected the Diamondbacks would pursue an extension with Prado, and they didn’t waste any time. Prado had gone from super-utility to … well … super-utility with the Braves. He was just that. He was very valuable and a fan-favorite member of the Braves. Prado played five different positions last year as a lineup regular, with 119 games at left field, 25 at third base, 13 at shortstop, 10 at second base and four at first base. He will finally man one position this year, playing third base for the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks will soon realize what the Braves will miss because Prado is so versatile. Because Prado could backup any position, the Braves could get by with carrying an extra pitcher or two on long road trips. So, the 2012 bullpen was well rested. Fredi Gonzalez was used to having a deep bullpen he could evenly distribute the workload with. The Braves may have to carry an extra infielder who can play those positions, but they won’t get the same production level. Prado is a very consistent player. He is a hard-nosed player who will fit extremely well with manager Kirk Gibson’s style of play. Prado has a career average line of .295/.345/.435. He seldom strikes out but also doesn’t walk much. He’s a hit-to-contact type player the Diamondbacks will truly enjoy having.
Randall Delgado (RHP) – Delgado will contend for the fifth starter in the Diamondbacks rotation, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him finish as the number three or four in that rotation. Some Diamondback fans see his line from last year and go “what’s the big deal with this guy?” His line of 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 17 games makes most fans yawn, and on a team that made the playoffs, it raises an eyebrow or two. But don’t let that line fool you. He started off terrible along with top Braves prospect Julio Teheran, but beat Teheran out for the fifth starter position. He finished April with a 6.30 ERA and rebounded nicely with a 3.60 ERA in May. He heated up in June with a 2.79 ERA until imploding against the Red Sox when he pitched 1.1 innings and gave up four runs, six hits and hit a batter. He finished July with a 3.46 ERA until he was sent down after Jurrjens and Hanson came off the DL. Even with the bad game at Boston, after the horrible April, he pitched to a 3.84 ERA. He just never got run support. He’s a good pitcher, and right now, the better pitcher over Teheran. He doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Teheran, but if you’re looking for a great prospect, he’s the one.
Brandon Drury (INF) - The Braves drafted Drury in the 13th round of the 2010 draft. The Braves were high on Drury even though he’s just the afterthought of the deal. He’s only 20 and got his first extended time in the field last year playing in 123 games in Rome. Brandon took a step back in regard to his power, and we won’t know what he’ll be for another two years.
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