Could Justin Upton unite with brother in Atlanta?
Thursday it was reported Upton blocked a deal that would have sent him to the Seattle Mariners, leading many to wonder what would be next for the player.
Could he return to the D-backs, who tried to trade him, and be successful in 2013? Or, maybe, does the team have to make a deal -- any deal -- just to make sure there is no clubhouse drama.
Over on MLB.com they pondered that very question, and decided if Arizona feels forced to make a move, the Atlanta Braves would be a good fit.
After signing a five-year, $75.25 million contract with the Braves in November, B.J. Upton said that he and his younger brother, Justin, had discussed the possibility of playing together in Atlanta. Their hope was fueled by the fact that for the second time in a span of four months, there were rumors that the D-backs would be willing to trade Justin Upton.
While the Braves have been considered a potential suitor, they have not necessarily been considered a favorite to land Upton. But the scene was altered on Thursday night, when Upton rejected a trade to the Mariners and the Rangers reportedly decided they will no longer attempt to land the D-backs outfielder.
The story notes that whereas the Braves did not necessarily have the pieces to make a deal for Upton before, the D-backs have made enough moves to where they are now looking for something else in exchange for Upton. Should that be the case, Atlanta may now have something to offer, especially if the goal is to match what Arizona would have received from Seattle.
If the Braves were to present a comparable package, it would include Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado, Eric O'Flaherty or Jonny Venters, shortstop Nick Ahmed and likely either J.R. Graham or Zeke Spruill.
While the Braves would be interested in acquiring Upton, there is little reason to believe they would do so if the cost proves to be as significant as it would have been for the Mariners.
Upton hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI for the D-backs last season, but has posted MVP-caliber numbers in the past. He has hit 108 career home runs and driven in 363, and at 25 may have his best years still ahead of him.
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