Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Braves' offer for Upton
By Jason A. Churchill
Reports surfaced Wednesday that the Atlanta Braves have made an offer to the Arizona Diamondbacks in attempt to land outfielder Justin Upton. David O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution tweets that he believes right-hander Julio Teheran is included in that offer, plus two or three other prospects.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers had indicated that the asking price for Upton, perhaps set when the club agreed to a deal with the Seattle Mariners earlier this month. The reports varied on what the offer actually was, but by all accounts it included right-hander Taijuan Walker, one of the top 10-15 prospects in all of baseball, plus a combination of three other prospects or young players.
If the asking price has not come down, the Braves' offer outside of Teheran will have to be significant -- more significant than what the M's offered with Walker, who is a better prospect than is Teheran, with more upside and a higher floor. Atlanta isn't exactly flush with premium talent down on the farm, but they do have depth. Other prospects possibly being discussed by the two clubs include right-handers J.R. Graham and Lucas Sims, shortstop Jose Peraza and left-handers Alex Wood and Sean Gilmartin.
One way for the Braves to up the ante without gutting their system is to offer a player with some major league experience such as shortstop Tyler Pastornicky or right-hander Randall Delgado. It seems highly unlikely they'd consider including shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
The Braves could also try and make up the difference between the Mariners' offer -- if Towers sticks to that price -- by offering more quantity in place of the quality they may lack.
Arizona could end up trading Jason Kubel, instead, but FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday that it appears Upton is the more likely of the two to be moved.