Three Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Braves Trade Packages for Justin Upton and His Former D-backs
Here is what I thought the D-backs could get from four teams for Justin Upton on Dec. 3.
Here is what the D-backs actually got from one team, the Braves, for Upton on Jan. 24.
Scout-turned-scribe Keith Law of ESPN.com wrote this of the trade today: “Arizona’s return boils down to this: One year of Martin Prado, six years of a fifth starter in Randall Delgado, two fringy prospects and one non-prospect. If that sounds like a good deal to you, I have some beachfront property in Phoenix to sell you.” An ESPN baseball editor by the name of Matt Meyers then Tweeted: “In anticipation of Willie Bloomquist’s eventually [sic] retirement, the D-backs have acquired Nick Ahmed, his minor league equivalent.”
Of all the expert opinions you may see today on this seven-player, yet-to-be-official trade, I think those two are the most illuminating. The D-backs just didn’t get very good ballplayers (even if you think the world of Prado, who is signed only through 2013). In addition to Ahmed, Arizona also received right-handed starter Zeke Spruill (a No. 4 or 5 starter) and first baseman Brandon Drury (the aforementioned “non-prospect”). It’s very likely that none of the three will be impactful, everyday big leaguers, in my education opinion.
That explains why I’ll quickly propose three woulda-coulda-shoulda ARI-to-ATL proposals. Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter what you think.
Analysis: If you’re going to trade a star like Upton, you SHOULD acquire a potential star like Simmons. And Graham (or the further-away Lucas Sims) is a better prospect than Spruill, and Terdoslavich, who can play first or third base, can do something Ahmed can’t: develop into a very good hitter.
Proposal Two: Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson for starter Julio Teheran, Prado, Graham and Spruill as well as Terdoslavich.
Analysis: OK, if Simmons was truly untouchable in Atlanta’s mind, the centerpiece of the deal COULD have been Teheran, who despite his Triple-A struggles, will end up being a better starter than Delgado.
Proposal Three: Upton and Johnson for Delgado, Prado, catcher Christian Bethancourt, Graham and Terdoslavich.
Analysis: OK, if Simmons and Teheran were both off the table, I would recommend walking away from said table. The D-backs, however, backed themselves into a corner, and therefore WOULD have insisted on the inclusion of Betancourt, an outstanding defensive catching prospect.