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The Braves are the frontrunners for Justin Upton

Jan 23, 2013, 3:26 PM EDT

Maybe I would have phrased this differently, but Buster is a big enough deal to where he can put it however he likes:


Olney later tweeted that the Braves are said to have made a “strong offer” for Upton, and that that Dbacks are considering it now.

I know reading reporter tweets for deep meaning is, well, kinda silly. But I do read a lot of reporter tweets and I think I’ve developed a bit of a knack of figuring out when they think something is really gonna happen, but just can’t say so officially yet. Buster’s tweets about this are setting off my “he knows more than he’s letting on” radar. Makes me think this deal is close.

  1. dondada10 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    The Barves may very well be the front runners for Upton. But man, Craig, are you jumping to conclusions off a tweet. Fanboy much?

    • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Not when the rumor has been on again off again for months and its coming from Buster Olney who unlike Chris Mortensen, is usually right in his rumors.

      • schmedley69 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        Yeah, Buster really nailed that Cole Hamels to L.A. prediction that he kept harping on for 5 months last season.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        I said usually, cant be right all the time when its rumors.

    • qcubed3 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      I had a great idea once. It was a mat, with different conclusions on it, that you could jump to . . .

  2. ss - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    He’s just trolling you.

  3. frenchysplatediscipline - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:33 PM


    He said hard on.

  4. historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    and Delmon Young is off the table!!!!!!!

    • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Delmong Young cost nothing.

      • chacochicken - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        Delmon Young takes a toll.

      • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Except for ABs and runs on defense.

  5. ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Braves have to go all in. With their tiny TV deal and empty pipeline, this is their last window to compete for a while.

    • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Compared to Washington and Philly, the Braves pipeline is fine. Yeah, they’ve thinned it out quite a bit….but there is still more in their than their NL East rivals have.

      • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        They’ve thinned out more than you think. If they make this trade, they’ll probably be one of the worst farms left.

      • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        That is true. They don’t have a great system now (no impact guys that are close unless Teheran turns things around), and Teheran or Graham (or both) may be sent off in this deal. It would definitely make them a candidate for worst system.

      • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Challenged only by the Pheelies, which is a much more egregious situation when one compares the comparative ages of the frontline Pheelies starters and the much younger Atlanta squad.

      • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        Spud, it won’t take long for the Phils to rebuild the farm if this season is another disappointment. They can get a bunch of talent for guys like Halladay, Utley, Ruiz, Rollins etc. Would be kinda different to be a seller. So being old is bad, it does allow for a quicker rebuild.

      • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I don’t think they can. Those guys are old and expensive. The only way to get any kind of prospect for them is to eat most of their contract. Halladay may be a FA after this year. Most of those guys wouldn’t get the deals they have now if they were on the FA market, the Phillies would have to eat money just to give away some of them, and they would have to eat a LOT of money to get any kind of prospect back.

        The number of teams that will trade B- prospects or better for an old, declining, expensive player is pretty small….and the Phillies are one of those.

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        The Atlanta farm isn’t that good. The really good young arms have been traded or graduated to the bigs. There is next to nothing when it comes to bats. They definitely are in “win now” mode.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        Agreed. The Phillies depleted their system trying to win the World Series the past 2-3 seasons. The Nats have depleted theirs trying to win the World Series in the near future. Contenders do that sort of thing.

    • zzkt1 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      What an uninformed ignorant take! Empty pipeline? We just brought up our 20 year old SS in Simmons, Heyward and Freeman the last 3 years. We have one of the most highly touted catchers in the league waiting in the wings if McCann moves on in Christian Bethancourt. Kimbrel is already the best closer in baseball in year 2. Not to mention young starters in Medlen, Beachy, Delgado, and Tehran. That’s half of the team right there. Prado is hitting his prime and can play 3rd. Uggla and BJ Upton are locked down for 3 and 5 years respectively. With no one moving, that is plenty of time to rebuild in the minors which the Braves have always done a great job with.

      And the TV deal is so horrible that Liberty Mutual bumped this years payroll up to 98 million. There are also plans with the city to move the Braves in a more fan friendly environment. So I have no clue what you are babbling about.

      • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        So many words, so little sense. Pipeline means talent that has yet to be brought up. It doesn’t count the talent that is already in the majors.

      • druticus - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Ames, you stole my thunder. I created an account just to say the same thing you did.

      • druticus - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        PS. It’s Liberty Media, not Liberty Mutual (the insurance company)…Speaking of babbling

      • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        The “problem” with that interpretation is that the Braves pipeline, as of right now, is no where near as depleted as that of the Phillies or Nationals, each of whom have jack squat in their systems as well because they’ve either traded it away or it has graduated to the bigs. Right now, the Braves have a better and younger MLB team and a better farm system than Philly does.

      • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        They may not have a better farm system. Those rankings are going to be released by the prospects people, but the Braves system is really thin and the Phils is getting better.

      • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        No, it isn’t. That is the problem with the Phillies system right now. They traded the away the system Arbuckle built, since then they have drafted a lot of toolsy players that are not developing. The system isn’t getting better, its just as bad as it was last year.

      • ocho - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        @paperlions, the Nationals “depleted” pipeline has 3 top 100 prospects (and thats not even including Lucas Giolito who is injured)…the Braves, on the other hand, have 2 prospects in the top 100. Suggest you do a little more research next time.

  6. paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    That Delmon Young move must have the Barves shaking in their boots, prompting them to make a move.

  7. ss - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    He’s proposing potential lineups now.

    Just to troll you.

  8. Ben - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    They kinda have to trade him at this point, don’t they? They’ve lost so much leverage and good will they don’t have an option.

    • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Why not? He’ll pout in the corner and not put on his glove? He’s under contract and he will play until told he’s been traded, whenever that is.

      • Ben - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        If I learned anything from Kevin Goldstein, clubs value makeup and club house chemistry far more than those of us outside baseball do.

  9. dkphilly1122 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    This is Craig being Craig…….getting all hot and bothered by a RUMOR, nothing more yet, about his Braves. Talk about a treasure troll…and I don’t mean his looks. Can’t wait for those TV Deals!!!!

  10. djjackson81 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Why is it that Buster fails to mention what the Braves strong offer is for Upton. The one thing for sure is Towers accepts there offer it would have to be a good deal for AZ. Maybe the Braves have agreed to AZ initial demand of Simmons and AZ would include Pennington or DiDi to fill Atlantas SS void.

    • paperlions - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      The Braves still have a lot of B grade pitching prospects and AZ is said to be looking for pitching, perhaps a few of those guys would be enough….yeah, it would be quantity over quality….but…this is Towers. It isn’t like he has a history of making deals that make sense.

    • jamaicanjasta - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      There’s no way Atlanta would create a huge hole at SS to fill one at left. Especially as the other two options (Resigning Bourn to a short term deal – something the Braves have said they’d be open to if the price drops- or putting Francisco at 3rd and leave Prado in left) would be more palatable.

      The issue with trading Simmons is that there’s nothing on the current roster that can do anything offensively at that position.

      • stlsportsfan84 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        If they were getting Didi back as listed above I could see a move like this being made. Hopefully not for a player like Pennington though, at least with Didi you get years of control on a good D up the middle guy.

      • jamaicanjasta - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        My issue with Didi is that while his D is good, his offense projects similarly to the last two SS (Gonzalez and Janish) Atlanta has used, especially from an overly aggressive batting standpoint.

      • mordecofe - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        no point in trading simmons for didi, weakening yourself both at defense and offense. simmons has been rated and projected as the best defensive SS in the majors and while not a huge offensive force has huge offensive upside compared to gregorious (sp?).

  11. chacochicken - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Towers seems almost to have some personal issue with Upton. Much like Bauer, when he decides he doesn’t want a player he’ll practically give them away. Plus, look at all the grittiness in an outfield of Kubel, Eaton/Parra, and Ross. That 500 pound grouper that Trout caught last week has more range than Kubel and Ross is really an overpaid platoon player.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Towers knows something about Upton that he doesn’t want others to know. That’s the only logical conclusion. Why would he want to deal a 25-year-old power hitter so badly?

      • chacochicken - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        He also knows something about Cliff P. and Didi that no one else seems to know. I suspect he’s going to try and play two shortstops. One sitting on the others shoulders. If they combine power they may muster up a .700 OPS.

  12. djjackson81 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Well look at the Seattle deal he was getting huge haul for AZ had Justin not nixed the deal

  13. unlost1 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    they just wanna have 2 people on their team named Upton

    • ame123 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      as if they were somehow related

      • flosox - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        As long as one of them is named Kate…

      • unlost1 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        they are

  14. djjackson81 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Lannay Kekua on line one Towers

  15. cackalackyank - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I think I have reached the point that I no longer care about the name Justin Upton until there is an actual trade. Then I probably still will not care.

  16. schmedley69 - Jan 23, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Baseball America has a hard enough time ranking prospects (just go back and look at their top prospects list from years past and see how many guys they hit and missed on), so to think that any of you guys are qualified to rank team’s farm systems is ridiculous. Get over yourselves already.

  17. brianabbe - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Just think. If Atlanta pulls off this trade, they’ll go from finishing second in the division….to finishing second in the division. I suppose anything can happen once you reach October, but they’ll still have to win a play-in Wild Card game again as I don’t see Washington winning anything less than 95 games for at least the next few seasons.

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