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Arizona Diamondbacks Did the Best They Could with Justin Upton Trade

After years of rumors, Upton was finally traded to the Braves.
After years of rumors, Upton was finally traded to the Braves.Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IJanuary 24, 2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks were never going to get full market value at this point for Justin Upton.

The news coming today that Upton had been traded to the Atlanta Braves for a five-player package, reported here by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and then confirmed by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, was a deal that the D'Backs had to make.

Despite what the Arizona had said publicly, they were never going to be able to go to spring training with Upton.

The D'Backs had attempted to move him too often, with the final straw being the aborted trade with the Seattle Mariners. Upton blocked the move with his no-trade clause, putting the player and team in a tough spot, something that I wrote about here.

Given the fact that the league knew the D'Backs were backed into a corner and had to trade Upton, Arizona did a pretty good job of getting decent market value.

I like the move for the D'Backs because it provides help for the 2013 squad in the form of Martin Prado while providing the prospects that Arizona was obviously looking for headlined by Randall Delgado.

The 29-year-old Prado will immediately improve the D'Backs third base situation, while adding a veteran polished bat to the lineup. Prado's career slash line of .295/.345/.435 will fit quite nicely into the front of the D'Backs lineup.

Fox Sports Arizona's Jack Magruder tweets that the D'Backs expect to sign Prado to a contract extension.

The 22-year-old Delgado is another high-end arm for Arizona to add to its stockpile of young pitching talent highlighted by Tyler Skaggs and Archie Bradley.

Delgado has pitched well in spurts and has shown flashes of being a good middle of the rotation pitcher. His numbers at the minor league level are very good given his age.

Mark Bowman from has the breakdown of the deal here looking at the initial reaction to the trade.'s Jonathan Mayo does a nice job breaking down the three prospects the D'Backs are receiving.

For Atlanta, it was an opportunity to add a player like Upton, who has yet to reach his full potential at a modest price.

Losing Prado will hurt Atlanta, but the Braves are hoping the 25-year-old Upton will blossom into a star by joining his older brother B.J. in Atlanta. Upton never developed into the player everyone had projected during his time in Arizona.

For Arizona, they will have a team full of grinders who reflect the temper of the D'Backs' manager Kirk Gibson. The D'Backs will enter 2013 with a much deeper team then they have had in quite some time, with depth at almost every position at the major league and minor league levels.

Once the D'Backs signed Cody Ross to a three-year contract, it was almost a given that Upton was going to be moved by the team.

The fact that the Arizona improved themselves in the short-term and continued to add prospects for the long-term is a credit to D'Backs general manager Kevin Towers.

The Diamondbacks have positioned themselves to be a strong contender in the NL West this season, if not the favorite at this point.  

Spring training can't come soon enough.


Information used from Baseball Reference, MLB Trade Rumors,, Fox Sports Arizona, CBS Sports, Fox Sports

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