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The Braves Could Be Targeting Justin Upton

The Arizona Diamondbacks are said to be willing to listen to offers on Justin Upton. Earlier today, I tweeted that the Braves have the ability to trade for any available player. While they lack position player depth, they have a ton of starting pitching, which is exactly what a rebuilding team like the Diamondbacks are looking for.

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted this:

 would be at front of line to get Justin Upton -- and they have the young, controllable arms to do it.  

The controllable arms he speaks of are likely Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, and Arodys Vizcaino. The only player who should be untouchable in that group is Teheran. With what he has shown so far, he is as close to untradeable as a prospect ever gets. The others, however, could all be solid starting points to get a trade going for such a great player.

Almost every team in baseball will, or at least should, call the Diamondbacks and see what their level of interest is. It will take a ton to get the talented young outfielder, and rightfully so.

Over the past two seasons, Upton has averaged 22 home runs, 28 doubles, 19 stolen bases, and has a .361 on base percentage. His fielding is also far above average in right field, which means he should be able to transition to left field extremely well.

For next season, Bill James projects that Upton will hit .287 with a .371 on base percentage and hit 23 homers. Those numbers are not far off of Jason Heyward's projections, which have him with a .295 average, .411 on base percentage, and 22 homers. Basically, the Braves would be getting a right-handed left fielder who produces numbers close to Jason Heyward, who happened to be the most productive hitter in the Braves' lineup last season.

Frank Wren is in a prime position to acquire a tremendous player who is under control for a number of years. The farm system is stacked with pitching and so is the Major League team, making at least some of those young starters expendable. Wren will listen to what the Diamondbacks say and unless it is ridiculous, he will surely be trying his best to make a deal for one of the most talented young players in the game.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.