By: John Wickham
I know, I know. It is super early to be judging this trade when only 12 games have been played. Like most trades it really won’t be determined if it was worth it or not until a few years have passed but like most people I will be grading it right now. So just as a reminder this was the trade:
Braves acquired: OF Justin Upton & 3B Chris Johnson
Diamondbacks acquired: 3B Martin Prado, SP Randall Delgado, SP Zeke Spruill, SS Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury
And in 12 games it has been well worth it. Justin Upton has a .348 AVG 7 HR 11 RBI 12 Runs scored and has played solid defense. Chris Johnson has played both 3rd base and 1st base with Freddie Freeman on the DL. Johnson has a .405 AVG 1 HR 4 RBI 6 Runs scored. He has also played solid defense. His ability to play 1st base has been huge so far especially now that Freeman is out. He was expected to get a couple of starts while giving Freeman a rest but while on Freeman has been on the DL Chris has had to get a lot more time.
I think for most the real players that were lost were Martin Prado and Randall Delgado. Martin Prado has been a real force for Atlanta when he was here playing numerous positions and playing his heart out but his production can be replaced by Chris Johnson/Juan Francisco while his ability to play many positions can be replaced by several players. The hardest thing to replace is his leadership and his intangibles but it is possible. Randall Delgado is a solid pitching prospect. While I do not think he would ever become an ace he has a chance to be a solid 3 and maybe a low end 2. Unfortunately for him the Braves have plenty of young pitching depth with Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Sean Gilmartin, and J.R. Graham. He just happened to be the odd man out. The other guys I think project more as backups and spot starters but were stuck behind quality young starters at the Majors.
It is super early to be judging this trade but as of right now both teams have to be really happy with what they have gotten. It is a rare trade that can be called a win-win for both teams.