In what would have been the biggest trade of the year, the Atlanta Braves were approached by the Texas Rangers just before July's trade deadline with a blockbuster deal involving Justin Upton, Bob Nigtengale reports.
The move would have made up for the 50-game Biogenesis steroid suspension of Nelson Cruz, who belted 27 homers in 108 games this season. The Rangers offered starting pitcher Matt Garza, closer Joe Nathan and outfielder David Murphy.
Obviously, the Braves rejected the trade offer, though the possibilities would have been very interesting. Nathan would have provided Atlanta with a veteran bullpen arm. Garza was pitching very well at the time of his trade from the Chicago Cubs to the Rangers, so he may have benefited from the more hitter-friendly Turner Field. Murphy has struggled this season, but has generally reliably put up solid numbers.
It would have also severed Upton's connection in Atlanta with B.J. Upton, which would have likely upset the already struggling elder brother. That could have led to a bad situation in the clubhouse.
With the way Justin Upton has turned it on this month, the young rotation has stepped up and the acquisition of Scott Downs, it seems this was a good trade to not make. Kudos, Frank Wren.
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