Sept. 16, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton (10) cheers on base runner Adam Eaton (not pictured) in the third inning against San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

Another Justin Upton Post

While it seemed like we were beating a dead horse with all of our posts trying to create a package for Justin Upton, it turns out that was not the case at all.  Arizona and Seattle agreed to a trade to send Upton to Seattle, but Upton rejected the trade, as Seattle is one of the four teams on his limited no-trade clause.  The players that were to be sent to Arizona were made known, so I will try to create a similar deal for the Braves.

The main prospect coming back was Taijuan Walker, coming off an average season in AA despite only turning 20 in August.  He is a top 5 pitching prospect in the entire league, with a mid-90′s fastball and big curveball.  Julio Teheran is probably the only pitcher the Braves have with that kind of potential, so he is the starting piece for our new deal.

The other high prospect to leave Seattle was Nick Franklin, a middle infielder who turns 22 in March.  After showing good power in A-ball in ’10, he’s been more of a gap hitter with decent plate discipline.  He crushed AA half the season, then struggled at the plate in AAA.  Nick Ahmed isn’t the hitter that Franklin is, but he’s a similar defensive package and a better base runner, so aside from Andrelton Simmons, it’s the closest the Braves can do.

Stephen Pryor made his MLB debut this past year, showing a 95-97 MPH fastball and sketchy control, a relief-only prospect who turned 23 in July.  Juan Jaime is the closest comparison stuff-wise, but he only pitched in High-A ball last year.  Aside from him, since I’m somewhat lowballing the first two prospects, I could also give up J.R. Graham, a high-velocity starter who gets a lot of groundballs.

Charlie Furbush, aside from having one of the best names in baseball, had a great year out of the bullpen for Seattle last year.  The Braves have LH relievers to give up, as Luis Avilan is probably the closest comparison to Furbush.  The Braves could also trade Jonny Venters, depending on how much the D-Backs thought of Teheran and Ahmed.

A lot of people said that Upton saved the Mariners by rejecting the trade, and I can see where that sentiment comes from.  As a Brave fan, I would have trouble giving up Teheran, Ahmed, Graham, and Venters for Upton.  If Graham becomes Jaime, then it’s more manageable, but I don’t know if Arizona would accept that deal.  Everyone now has an idea of what it will take to get Upton, and I can see a situation where the brothers are together in Atlanta for the coming seasons.

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  • Lee Trocinski

    Graham is probably the sticking point here. If I were AZ, I wouldn’t do a deal without him, and ATL probably shouldn’t give him up. However, these types of deals aren’t easy, so it will probably take an overpay to get Upton. It seems the top free agent corner outfielders next year will be Pence and Cruz, so this is probably the best opportunity to get a high-quality LF.

    • fireboss

      I told Casey Stern that a match would be something like Teheran, Ahmed, Walden, Gilmartin would probably do it. I’m not sure we couldn’t persuade them that Francisco is a better option at third than the aging Chavez they have projected there now. Wren loves him as much as pitching however so if pressed Mejia or Pastornicky added to give Towers quantity enough to make up for the pitching quality difference.
      I’m convinced the whole Seattle thing was to put a sale price on Upton so suitors could make offers close to it. I also suggested to Stern that Towers is running out of suitors and with an owner clearly wanting him gone he may just take the best non-insulting offer he can get. Honestly either your package or mine is well above insulting and fits his needs.

      • Carlos Collazo

        I would be fine with the deal you described in the article given how much pitching depth we have.

  • rick staley


    Don’t cave in Wren! Graham & Gilmartin coming soon to Hotlanta,

    • fireboss

      As much as I hope I’m incorrect I don’t think he’s engaged at all. I think he lacks the hutzpah for the big deal.