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BJ Upton

Instant Trade Analysis: Justin Upton to the Braves

Atlanta Braves get: OF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson

Arizona Diamondbacks get: 3B/OF Martin Prado, SP Randall Delgado and minor leaguers SS Nick Ahmed, 1B Brandon Drury and SP Zeke Spruill

Since Ted Turner sold the Braves several seasons ago, Atlanta management has subtly turned a team with a nine figure payroll into shrewd, budget conscious operation with an eye always towards the future. Instead of spending multi-millions to sign or retain high-salaried veterans, the Braves have kept a healthy mix of older players with young, emerging prospects, which seem to sprout from their minor league system as steadily as Milton Bradley felony charges.

Although we had a couple initial thoughts here at MAMBINO HQ regarding this trade, we turned to resident Braves fan and writer The King for his thoughts. Let’s get to it:

  1. The Braves have the best bullpen in the game, one of the best rotations and stellar defense. The lineup was the weak part of this team not because of depth, but because of a  lack of superstars (a problem that has worsened with Chipper Jones’ retirement).  Justin Upton gives them a hitter that has the potential to be a superstar. 

 

The King is right in his assessment; the Braves have one of the best young starting rotations and bullpens in the game, a raft of twenty-something pitchers with tremendous upside. More to the point, they’re all on controllable rookie contracts, increasing their value tenfold–look at what 22 year-old pitcher Randall Delgado fetched, after all. The Braves absolutely need more stability in their line-up with a departing Chipper Jones (a legitimate All-Star in his age 40 season) as well as the departing free agent Michael Bourn. Grabbing a five-tool 25 year-old outfielder with a top-5 MVP finish to his credit should do the trick, right?… Read more...

(Not So) Instant Trade Analysis: David Wright, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Russell Martin and BJ Upton

In the midst of the NBA’s multiple storylines right out of the opening gate, the MLB hot stove is burning. In the past 36 hours especially, there’s been a ton of action on the baseball front, so let’s take a MAMBINO-sized shot at examining the various moves with our (not-so) Instant Trade Analysis:

New York Mets get: 3B David Wright

David Wright gets: 7 years, $122 million

As much as people everywhere want to revile David Wright for signing with one of the worst ownership teams in professional sports, the truth is that on his end, the future could look pretty bright for the Mets. It certainly doesn’t start with the bats: the offense is still hugely reliant on big years from Wright and Ike Davis to merely be better than mediocre. Meanwhile, the bullpen still lists Frank Francisco…anywhere, so there’s obviously work to be done. But, the hardest task is seemingly complete–the rotation.  
Examining their 2013 roster, it’s headlined with the 2012 NL Cy Young winner, an aging but effective Johan Santana, young pitching prospects in Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Jenrry Meijia, and steady hands in Dillon Gee and Jon Niese. If Harvey and Wheeler emerge this year in a Lincecum/Cain-like tandem, then the Mets could potentially have the…best rotation in the NL East? It’s not crazy. 

For the Mets, there’s obviously two ways to look at this: management needed to show fans (and the team itself) that they weren’t going to completely submerge themselves in a middle-market type of free agent irrelevance. They had to keep their star player at whatever price it took. After all, what type of message would not re-signing a six-time All-Star who just finished in sixth place in the NL MVP voting? 

However, I do have concerns that as Wright reaches his 30’s (this contract will take him until his age 37 season), he’s going to wear at a high pressure, high intensity position at third base and his recent injury history is going to become even more a problem. All of Wright’s advance metrics suggest that he’s just as good as he’s ever been despite hitting for less power than in his early twenties, but he’s still a very good to elite defensive hot cornerman and a 40 doubles, 20 (maybe not 30) homer hitter. 
In regards to the contract, Wright certainly could have gotten more money playing out free agency. Anaheim, LA, the Yankees, Philadelphia and both Chicago clubs could have offered him more money. However, Wright has always proclaimed that he’s wanted to retire as a Met (the fool!), and he obviously saw the team’s future prospects ready to emerge.

The Mets had to make this deal, simply to show everyone that they weren’t turning into the Cleveland Indians. I have little doubt that Wright won’t be earning his money by the time the contract ends, mostly due to the fact that he’ll be playing first base around that time. However, re-signing with the Mets wasn’t an awful decision for his personal future, baseball-wise.

New York Yankees get: SP Andy Pettitte, RP Mariano Rivera

Andy Pettitte gets: 1-year, $12 million (plus $2.5 million in performance bonuses)

Mariano Rivera gets: 1-year, $10 million (plus performance bonuses)

The City of New York gets: A grand total of three active Yankees they’ll never boo

In both guys, there’s a strange dichotomy of knowing exactly what you’ll get, but at the same time having not knowing anything. Rivera is coming off a torn ACL, the first serious injury of his cRead more...