The Atlanta Braves started aggressively pursuing a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for Justin Upton on Wednesday, but it seems the inclusion of certain prospects may be a major hang up, Jeff Passan reports.
The D-Backs currently have five starting-quality outfielders – Upton, Jason Kubel, Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra and prospect Adam Eaton, meaning they pretty much have to move at least one. Kubel is drawing interest from the Baltimore Orioles and would likely be easier to move, but his return would be significantly lower than Upton's. Arizona also has their soured relationship with Upton to consider.
Even so, Passan reports that Julio Teheran is a centerpiece to the deal, which is nothing new. Evan Gattis and Nick Ahmed are also probably included, which makes sense considering the logjam that would be in front of them at their positions. The Diamondbacks are also after right-handed pitching prospect J.R. Graham.
And the Braves' desire to hold onto a 23-year-old who's never pitched past Double-A is holding back this deal. No doubt Graham has put up solid numbers in the minors, but Frank Wren has acknowledged how stacked his team already is with pitching and the fact that they're prepared to bring on another major contract. Hopefully he can work some magic and bring Up, Up and J-Hey to Atlanta.
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