One of the best kept secrets in baseball came to fruition on Friday, as the Atlanta Braves finally completed their off-season long quest to deal OF Justin Upton (Chesapeake). Upton was dealt to the San Diego Padres for a package of prospects.
This was the latest in a series of bold moves by the Padres to beef up their offense in a huge way, and the Upton acquisition will mean the Padres will have a whole new outfield in 2015.
This was a win-win situation for both teams. The rebuilding Braves get something for a soon-to-be-free-agent Upton, and the Padres send a message to their fans they are trying to seriously contend in 2015. Upton will hit the open market this time next year, meaning the Padres could try to sign him long term or they could give him a qualifying offer and get draft pick compensation if he leaves.
Upton spent two years with the Braves, during which time he hit .267 with 56 HR and 172 RBIs in 303 games, and in 2014 he won his second Silver Slugger award.