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.