There is little debate about one player the Braves traded this past offseason. Justin Upton is a fantastic talent. He’s hitting .294 with seven home runs and 21 RBI through the first 28 games of San Diego’s season.
This winter Upton is going to win the lottery. He is going to get a humongous contract, and as one of the top power hitters in the game and at his age (27), Upton will likely deserve it.
But the players the Braves received in the trade with San Diego are doing well, and right now the trade seems to be doing exactly what both teams wanted it to do. When it’s a win-win for both teams, that’s a good trade.
Jace Peterson might have been thought of as a throw-in for the Braves, but he’s the starting second baseman. Peterson has finally been left in the lineup, and as he’s started the last 12 games for Atlanta he’s hit .395 with five runs batted in and five walks. Peterson’s season average is now up to .286.
There are three more players from the trade in the minor league system. Mississippi outfielder Mallex Smith is hitting .315 with a home run, eight runs batted in and six stolen bases. His on base percentage is .333. Last season for two teams in the Padres’ system, Smith it .310.
Dustin Peterson, no relation to Jace, has been red hot in High-A Carolina. Peterson is hitting .280 with a .375 on base percentage, three home runs and 13 RBI. In his last eight games, Peterson is hitting .448 (13-29) with one home run and five runs batted in.
While Peterson needs to keep it up, these season numbers are an improvement over the .233 batting average and .274 OBP he posted last season for Fort Wayne in the Midwest League.
And perhaps the best prospect in the trade is not even playing. Don’t forget about Max Fried, the left-handed starting pitcher prospect who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is rehabbing in Orlando and the Braves are confident Fried can come back strong next season and again be a top prospect. Before his injury, Fried was considered one of the best pitching prospects in the game.
Plus, we must remember the Braves got international money from the Padres in the trade that allowed them to sign eight young prospects.
So the Braves traded a player who they believed would not re-sign for the long term for young players, and so far the results are positive for both teams.
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Justin Upton trade helping both teams
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