UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 24, at 9:52 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal has the latest on Justin Upton possibly being dealt to the Atlanta Braves.
CBS' Jon Heyman went on to confirm Rosenthal's report:
players are agreed to in Justin Upton trade. pending physical— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 24, 2013
---End of update---
D-Backs talks with the Braves about JUpton have resumed; ATL said to be in hard on this. They're likely the frontrunner, if JUpton is dealt.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 23, 2013
The Diamondbacks have been reviewing the Braves' offer for Upton; some folks involved feel like it's a strong offer.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 23, 2013
Olney is one of the most well-connected and respected baseball reporters, and he seems to be feeling pretty strongly that this deal will happen.
When he says the Braves are "likely the frontrunner" and that he is hearing "it's a strong offer," it's easy to believe that this is almost a done deal.
If that is the case, and the Diamondbacks do want to make this trade, there is one more step to go when trading Justin Upton: The 25-year-old has a no-trade clause, and he apparently is not afraid to use it.
The Diamondbacks were reportedly ready to send Upton to the Mariners for a nice package of prospects when Upton nixed the deal.
However, the Braves may not have to worry about Upton flexing that clause on this potential deal. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick pointed out, after the failed M's deal, that the Mariners, along with the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Cubs, were one of four teams on his no-trade list.
Upton is coming off of a down year at the plate. His stats dropped off from the previous season in almost every category—most notably his power numbers. He hit just 17 home runs last season after belting 31 the season before.
Still, this is a supremely talented youngster with a strong track record and three years left on his contract for a reasonable rate of $38 million.
The right-handed hitting Upton is a career .278 hitter, and since the start of the 2009 season, he has blasted 91 homers, gone for 310 RBI and swiped 77 bases. His best season came in 2011 when he hit .289, carried an OPS of .898 and had a WAR of 5.7.
Those are all elite numbers, and a giant reason why Braves fans should be getting excited over this possible trade.