Braves Acquire Justin Upton

By Ryan Nakada
Epoch Times Contributor
Created: January 24, 2013 Last Updated: January 24, 2013
Related articles: Sports » Baseball
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Upton, still only 25, hit .280 last season with 17 home runs and scored 107 runs. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Upton, still only 25, hit .280 last season with 17 home runs and scored 107 runs. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to trade outfielder Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves in a 7-player deal.

Upton, 25, was selected first overall in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would make his debut in August 2007 and make a splash in the postseason that year. In 6 postseason games, Upton would hit .357 with a double, triple, and run batted in.

In 2008, at age 20, Upton would win the right field spot in Spring Training with a .300 average with 3 home runs and 12 runs batted in. He would finish the season with 15 home runs and 42 runs batted in, a respectable season despite injuries and cold streaks that included an 0 for 24 slump with 17 strikeouts. He would become an All-Star for the first time in 2009 and finished the season with a .300 average with 26 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Upton would become a 2-time All-Star in 2011 and finished the season with 31 home runs and 88 runs batted in.

The centerpiece of the players being sent to the Diamondbacks is versatile outfielder Martin Prado. Along with Prado are 4 other minor league players and Chris Johnson will join Upton to complete the deal, pending physicals. Prado, 29, was primarily used in left field but has seen at least 10 games at second base, shortstop, and third base.

He was amidst trade talks earlier involving the Seattle Mariners but he used the no-trade clause in his contract to veto the trade. Justin Upton will join an outfield that includes his older brother B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward. B.J. Upton signed a 5-year, $75.2 million contract with the Braves early this offseason.

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