Well I wasn’t really planning this post but I can’t really keep myself from writing it. The topic has been covered by David Lee over at Capitol Avenue Club but with all of the tweets and especially the comments on MLBTR I felt it was necessary to address Justin Upton.
Before we even get to how the Braves and Justin Upton relate let me just say this:
I think it is extremely sketchy that the Arizona Diamondbacks are “willing to consider offers” on easily their best player.
There are a number of reasons that this scares me, and should scare anyone who is looking into trading for Justin Upton.
- Justin Upton is arguably one of the top 5 players under the age of 25 right now.
- Justin is under control through 2015 to a ridiculously team friendly contract
- The Diamondbacks have said they are still trying to compete, after trading their best player.
The third number is particularly troubling. It doesn’t make much sense to me to try and compete but also trade your best player. Based on these things, something is wrong with Justin Upton, and its probably got more to do with his attitude and work ethic than his health or performance.
The Diamondbacks have said that they are not convinced that he is a winning player. I’m not sure how he isn’t a winning player but I’d also like to think that the organization knows a heck of a lot more about the guy than me.
Regardless of all of this, the Diamondbacks asking price for Upton is going to be astronomical considering his talent, age, health, and team friendly contract. Given all of those things, I think you could make a solid argument that Justin Upton has the highest trade value out of any major league ball player.
Now let’s relate all of this to the Braves… Oh wait, you can’t.
For all of you who think that the Braves are the favorite to get Justin Upton, or that the Braves match up well with the Diamondbacks for a trade, or that the Braves are interested at all in acquiring Justin Upton… calm down just a little bit.
The Braves will not be trading for Justin Upton because the Braves do not need Justin Upton.
Wait what? What kind of a team wouldn’t need Justin Upton?
Well, the Braves. If you were diligent enough to click that handy link you would have found out that the Braves outfielders lead all teams in baseball in WAR with 11.4. If you dig a little deeper you will find that our outfielders are all within the top 10 in outfield WAR. Michael Bourn (2) has 4.5, Martin Prado (7) has 3.8, and Jason Heyward (8) has 3.5. All of them have been better this year than Justin Upton (62) has been with 1.2.
Now I’m not telling you that all of our outfielders are better outfielders than Justin Upton. He is going to be a phenomenal player and already has great numbers for his career, but all three of our outfielders have been better than Upton this year.
The Braves will be making moves at the deadline, and they will be making moves for big names, but those big names and big moves will be focused on pitchers not outfielders. Our outfielders have arguably been the best thing about the 2012 Braves. The pitching is arguably the weakest thing about the 2012 Braves. Frank Wren isn’t dumb. He is going to get another starting pitcher (cross your fingers for Zack Greinke).
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