Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
The Braves were the winners of the Justin Upton trade. Hands-down.
The Atlanta Braves acquired the slugger they were targeting in Justin Upton, and the Arizona Diamondbacks eased their logjam in the outfield while adding talent to their minor league system. Both teams would seem to have accomplished their goals, but which organization made out better in this morning's agreement?
The Braves get my vote.
Arizona has had Upton on the trade block for some time now, and throughout the process they've reportedly asked for names including Starlin Castro, Julio Teheran, Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt. However, they come away from their deal with the Braves with a package built around Randall Delgado.
Delgado is a nice pitching prospect, considered a top young right-hander by many in the game. However, it appeared the Diamondbacks would be able to get a more impressive player at the center of a deal for a 25-year-old with a solid track record and superstar potential.
Arizona did come away with other nice young players, including Zeke Spruill, Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury. Ahmed adds another young shortstop to their system while Spruill was regarded by most as a top-10 prospect for the Braves.
They also got a third baseman in Martin Prado that has been a solid major leaguer and fan-favorite during his time in Atlanta.
However, the Diamondbacks didn't get a "wow" prospect, and they weren't able to pry away Atlanta's top young pitcher, Julio Teheran. Beyond the prospects, who all could prove useful down the road, Prado is set to hit the free agent market after the 2013 season.
For this group of players, the Braves were able to acquire a talented outfielder that is affordably under team control for the next three seasons. They also received Chris Johnson, a 28-year-old third baseman that is under team control through 2017, which should help ease the loss of Prado.
Atlanta managed to do so without surrendering Teheran, and they have other talented young pitchers in the majors and minors to make up for the loss of Delgado. Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman will be manning shortstop and first base for the foreseeable future. Prado's loss is significant, but he could have wound up walking after the season, and Johnson and Juan Francisco should be able to at least somewhat fill the void at third.
Arizona didn't seem to do horribly in the trade, but considering what the Braves received, what they gave up and what they still have in the majors and minors, Atlanta is the winner of this one in my book.