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Arizona sends Upton to Braves in 7-player deal
PHOENIX (AP) - Justin Upton is having a family reunion in Atlanta.
Arizona traded its star right fielder to the Braves on Thursday in a seven-player deal that sent former All-Star infielder Martin Prado to the Diamondbacks.
The brothers combine with Jason Heyward, who won a Gold Glove in 2012, in an outfield potentially packed with power and speed.
“If we push ourselves to the next level, I feel with the extra push from each other there’s no question we can be the best outfield in baseball,” Justin Upton said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to give us that label until we prove it.”
Prado, projected to play third base for the Diamondbacks, can become a free agent after this season, but Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said he already was working with Prado’s agent on a long-term deal.
B.J. Upton, 28, signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract with Atlanta in November.
Justin Upton, who has five full seasons in the majors but is just 25, said he already got tips from his brother from afar. Now there will be more chances for the two to help each other.
“I think from that standpoint it will be good, but I think more than anything being able to show up at the ballpark genuinely excited every day and have that energy,” he said. “The more energy you can bring from the start every day, it makes you a better player.”
Braves general manager Frank Wren said he expects the brothers will push each other.
“I do think it will drive them,” Wren said. “We’ve been looking for that young dynamic, right-handed, power-hitting outfielder that can hit in the middle of the lineup and makes that other team think a little bit.”
Upton had his ups and downs in Arizona, and Towers believes the change of scenery will benefit the young player, who was just 19 when he came to the majors.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
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