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. Report: Astros among teams looking at free agent right-hander Kevin Correia

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:01 PM EST

    Kevin Correia AP

    After negotiations with Ryan Vogelsong broke down last week, the Astros are now considering alternatives.

  2. Mariners reunite with Franklin Gutierrez

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:07 PM EST

    Franklin Gutierrez Getty Images

    Gutierrez has played a grand total of 173 games dating back to 2011 and sat out last season due to a gastrointestinal issue.

  3. Alex Avila switching to hockey-style catcher mask due to concussions

    Jan 26, 2015, 8:16 PM EST

    Alex Avila AP AP

    Avila is making a change in hopes of avoiding future concussions.

  4. Blue Jays sign president and CEO Paul Beeston to extension through 2015

    Jan 26, 2015, 7:09 PM EST

    blue jays logo

    The announcement comes after the Blue Jays reportedly ended their pursuit of Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette.

  5. Padres sign Ramiro Pena

    Jan 26, 2015, 6:30 PM EST

    Ramiro Peno AP AP

    The 29-year-old hit just .245/.304/.347 with three home runs and nine RBI across 81 games with the Braves last season and was designated for assignment in November.

  6. I don’t know if Dustin Pedroia is in the Best Shape of His life, but he IS posing with his shirt off

    Jan 26, 2015, 5:04 PM EST

    pedroia getty Getty Images

    Before cell phone cameras we just sat around and posed in the mirror. Now we can share that with everyone.

  7. Orioles, Bud Norris avoid arbitration for $8.8 million

    Jan 26, 2015, 4:16 PM EST

    Bud Norris AP AP

    Norris asked for $10.25 million and the Orioles countered at $7.5 million.

  8. More catching depth: Braves sign John Buck

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:49 PM EST

    John Buck Getty Images

    Buck joins Christian Bethancourt and A.J. Pierzynski on the Braves’ catching depth chart.

  9. The Brewers re-introduce the Beer Barrel Man

    Jan 26, 2015, 3:35 PM EST

    Beer Barrel Man

    Now, if they’ll bring back the beer mug Bernie slides into, everything will be A-OK.

  10. A-Rod is going to apologize, you guys

    Jan 26, 2015, 2:42 PM EST

    a-rod homer getty Getty Images

    I’m sure you’ve been worried about whether he would.

  11. Orioles sign Chris Parmelee

    Jan 26, 2015, 2:10 PM EST

    Chris Parmelee Getty Getty Images

    Parmelee was dropped by the Twins last month.

  12. Reds sign four-year contract extension with Devin Mesoraco

    Jan 26, 2015, 1:18 PM EST

    Devin Mesoraco AP

    Mesoraco is arbitration eligible for the first time at age 26 and filed for $3.6 million, while the Reds countered at $2.45 million.

  13. Wade Boggs shot a bull caribou without a license

    Jan 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

    Wade Boggs Horse

    Wade Boggs is . . . the World’s Most Interesting Man

  14. The Committee studying the A’s potential move to San Jose has . . . disbanded!

    Jan 26, 2015, 12:28 PM EST

    a's logo

    If it was a human it would’ve almost made it to the first grade. But now it is dead, aged just short of six years.

  15. Baseball’s 15th greatest general manager knew a bargain veteran when he saw one

    Jan 26, 2015, 11:29 AM EST

    Walt Jocketty AP

    If you made a trade with St. Louis in the 90s and 2000s, you likely got the bad end of that trade. Because of this guy.

  16. The Royals are monitoring James Shields

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:57 AM EST

    James Shields Getty Images

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.

  17. Jered Weaver packed on 25 pounds during the offseason

    Jan 26, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Jered Weaver AP AP

    “I don’t know if my metabolism is slowing down from getting older or what, but I feel good.”

  18. The Yankees are going to try to get out of paying A-Rod his contract incentives

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:31 AM EST

    alex rodriguez head Getty Images

    Hey guys, if things break just right we may get another A-Rod lawsuit!

  19. Rob Manfred defends Fred Wilpon being put in charge of baseball’s finance committee

    Jan 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York Reuters

    Short version: The man knows how to budget. Mets fans can’t dispute that.

  20. Reminder: eliminating defensive shifts is a dumb idea

    Jan 26, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    dodgers shift

    A solution in search of a problem. Or, at the very least, a solution that would be worse than the problem.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Vogelsong (6203)
  2. J. Shields (5433)
  3. J. Papelbon (4331)
  4. I. Suzuki (4282)
  5. J. Gomes (4003)
  1. D. Fowler (3530)
  2. J. Santana (3440)
  3. J. Profar (3296)
  4. M. Scherzer (2863)
  5. G. Soto (2833)