Skip to content

How about an Upton-Upton-Heyward outfield in Atlanta?

Nov 25, 2012, 6:28 PM EST

Justin Upton AP

We know the Braves are in hot pursuit of free agent B.J. Upton, who could well be the next top free agent to sign. It makes one wonder if they’d considering pairing the Upton brothers and bringing in Justin from Arizona.

On the surface, it seems like a great idea. Neither Upton brother has quite fulfilled his potential, but the two happen to be pretty competitive with one another; putting them in the same lineup would be quite the motivational tactic.

And the Braves have the artillery to get a deal done. The Rangers tried earlier this month to trade for Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons, strictly for the purposes of using him in an Upton deal.  The slick-fielding Simmons, who should begin contending for Gold Gloves as soon as 2013, hit .289/.335/.416 in 166 at-bats as a 22-year-old rookie last season. The Diamondbacks might initially ask for a pitching prospect along with Simmons, but I think they’d make the trade straight up if it was offered.

That would leave the Braves with a lineup of:

3B Martin Prado
CF B.J. Upton
RF Jason Heyward
LF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Dan Uggla
C Brian McCann/Gerald Laird
SS Paul Janish/Tyler Pastornicky

Not bad, right? It currently looks like McCann will miss the first month or two after shoulder surgery, but even minus his bat, that’s still a really nice lineup.

Of course, acquiring such an outfield would have huge payroll implications. B.J. Upton figures to command about $15 million per year as a free agent. Justin will make $9.75 million next year, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015 under the terms of his deal. Even if B.J.’s deal would be backloaded a bit, it’d probably mean taking on $22 million for 2013 and $28 million for 2014. Plus, the player getting subtracted, Simmons, will make the minimum for the next three years.

So, no, the whole scenario isn’t at all likely to materialize. However, the Braves do have the ability to make it happen if they want to. If money is tight, they could easily lop an additional $6.5 million off the payroll by trading Paul Maholm (they’d still have a rotation of Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado, with Brandon Beachy hopefully returning at midseason). If only Liberty Media weren’t so stingy with the payroll, these are the kinds of splashes the Braves could be making every offseason.

Latest Posts
  1. Marlins have discussed trading for Wade Miley

    Nov 23, 2014, 7:15 PM EST

    Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

    The Marlins have discussed swapping Nathan Eovaldi for Wade Miley.

  2. Red Sox going after both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    The Red Sox could revamp the left side of their infield if they have their way in free agency.

  3. Pirates trade first baseman Ike Davis to the A’s

    Nov 23, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    ike davis getty Getty Images

    Davis was designated for assignment by the Bucs a couple of days ago to open up a 40-man roster spot for top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon. Now the first baseman is headed to Oakland.

  4. “At least six” teams interested in Jon Lester

    Nov 23, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

    jon lester a's getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox and Cubs have long been considered the favorites to sign free agent Jon Lester, with the Braves and Cardinals also lingering. But there may be a surprise coming.

  5. Indians acquire Charles Brewer from the Diamondbacks

    Nov 23, 2014, 12:03 PM EST

    indians logo

    Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians have acquired right-hander Charles Brewer from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash.

  6. Torii Hunter “favors the Twins”

    Nov 23, 2014, 10:51 AM EST

    th getty Getty Images

    Torii Hunter could be headed back to where it all began.

  7. Video: Introducing new commissioner Rob Manfred

    Nov 23, 2014, 9:44 AM EST

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Watch as former MLB commissioner Bud Selig introduces new commissioner Rob Manfred …

  8. Diamondbacks trade Mike Bolsinger to the Dodgers

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:35 PM EST

    Mike Bolsinger Mike Bolsinger

    The Dodgers added some pitching depth, picking up Mike Bolsinger from the Diamondbacks on Saturday.

  9. Wily Mo Pena is a free agent and the Twins are interested

    Nov 22, 2014, 9:30 PM EST

    wily mo pena reuters

    Wily Mo Pena could be back in the major leagues if the Twins are willing to play ball.

  10. Derek Jeter went golfing with President Obama

    Nov 22, 2014, 8:25 PM EST

    Derek Jeter AP AP

    Are they looking to hire a caddie?

  11. Rockies sign John Lannan to a minor league deal

    Nov 22, 2014, 7:20 PM EST

    John Lannan Getty Getty Images

    The Rockies added a bit of pitching depth, signing John Lannan to a minor league deal.

  12. If Giants can’t bring back Pablo Sandoval, they’re expected to bid on Yasmany Tomas

    Nov 22, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    yasmany tomas getty Getty Images

    The Giants have a Plan B if they can’t bring back Pablo Sandoval.

  13. Reds sign Josh Satin

    Nov 22, 2014, 1:13 PM EST

    Josh Satin Mets Getty Images

    Satin spent parts of the past four seasons in the majors with the Mets.

  14. Henry Blanco leaves Diamondbacks for Cubs coaching staff

    Nov 22, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

    Henry Blanco Getty Getty Images

    Blanco played for the Cubs from 2005-2008.

  15. Report: Twins win bidding for Korean pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang

    Nov 22, 2014, 11:14 AM EST

    hyeon-jong yang Getty Images

    Yang won the Korean equivalent of the Cy Young award this season and the 26-year-old tops out at 92-95 miles per hour.

  16. Angels acquire Daniel Robertson from Rangers

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    Daniel Robertson Rangers Getty Images

    He figures to get a look as a backup outfielder for the Angels.

  17. Report: Red Sox make $95 million offer to Pablo Sandoval

    Nov 22, 2014, 9:10 AM EST

    Pablo Sandoval AP

    Boston is competing with San Francisco and San Diego for Sandoval.

  18. Mariners gain another option year on Danny Hultzen

    Nov 21, 2014, 10:55 PM EST

    Danny Hultzen AP AP

    The Mariners get an extra year to do whatever they want with Danny Hultzen.

  19. Jason Grilli a potential option for the Yankees

    Nov 21, 2014, 9:45 PM EST

    jason grilli getty Getty Images

    If the Yankees can’t bring back David Robertson, Jason Grilli could be one option the club could look at.

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. P. Sandoval (5111)
  2. G. Stanton (3567)
  3. Y. Tomas (3280)
  4. J. Lester (3191)
  5. R. Martin (2826)
  1. J. Heyward (2680)
  2. J. Upton (2438)
  3. M. Scherzer (2423)
  4. T. Hunter (2404)
  5. A. LaRoche (2394)