Newest Brave Upton excited about fresh start

B.J. Upton finalized a five-year, $75.25 million contract with the Braves makes him the highest-paid player in franchise history, but his dad Manny was most pleased that he signed with Atlanta, a short flight from the family’s home in Chesapeake, Va.

“Put a little word in Frank’s ear so we can get the other one here,” Manny Upton said after a news conference Thursday at Turner Field, where center fielder B.J. donned a Braves jersey and posed for pictures with his new manager, Fredi Gonzalez, and general manager Frank Wren, who gave him the largest free-agent contract in franchise history.

Manny and Yvonne Upton were smiling, proud parents on the day their 28-year-old son put Tampa Bay behind him and started with a clean slate and a team that moved aggressively.

The “other one” that Manny Upton spoke of bringing to Atlanta? That’s Justin Upton, 25, the Diamondbacks slugger who finished fourth in MVP balloting in 2011 and has been mentioned in trade rumors that Arizona general manager Kevin Towers has only fueled.

The Braves’ remaining offseason priority is to sign or trade for a left fielder, preferably one that could lead off but more importantly one that can help them win. Justin Upton could obviously do that, and some Braves fans practically drooling over the thought of both Uptons and right fielder Jason Heyward forming the most dynamic outfield in baseball.

“It’s been a big conversation of ours,” Upton said of playing with his brother. “Obviously he’s up [for free agency] in about three years. Is it a possibility? Yes. Is it going to happen? We don’t know. It’s definitely something that we’ve both talked about and would like to have happen.”

But have they talked about it happening now? “No, not at all,” said Upton, with a smile that made his answer less than convincing.

But it would take a boatload of talent to pry him from Arizona, and the Braves player Towers covets most, talented young shortstop Andrelton Simmons, isn’t going anywhere.

The Braves are more likely to trade for one of the other outfielders they’ve targeted. Minnesota’s Denard Span was at or near the top of their board, but was traded to Washington on Thursday.

That could increase the Braves’ focus on Colorado’s Dexter Fowler, an Atlanta native and Milton High graduate who bats leadoff and is affordable. He would likely cost the Braves a young pitcher in a trade.

The Braves are also considering free agents such as Shane Victorino and Cody Ross. Talks could heat up with other teams and free agents at the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville.

For the record, the Braves would probably have to trade pitcher Tommy Hanson or someone else to free up payroll in order to take on the salary of Justin Upton, who’s owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons. That includes $9.75 million in 2013 — a little less than what the Braves are believed to have left to fill out their roster, including bench and bullpen.

But Thursday wasn’t a day to talk about what might be as much as it was to discuss what is certain – B.J. Upton is Atlanta’s new center fielder. A bundle of fast-twitch muscles and sinewy limbs, Upton has spent his entire career with the Rays and hit .246 with a career-high 28 homers and 31 stolen bases in 2012.

Upton got a $3 million signing bonus and will receive salaries of $12.45 million in 2013, $13.45 million in ‘14, $14.45 million in ‘15, $15.45 million in ‘16 and $16.45 million in ‘17.

“We felt this was always where it was going to end up,” Wren said of the deal’s size and scope. “You probably always pay a little more than you want to, but this is right where we thought it would end up.”

He’s streaky and strikes out a lot – more than 160 times each of the past three seasons — but is a good outfielder and a constant threat to go deep at the plate or steal a base. He provides a needed right-handed presence in the middle of the lineup.

He replaces Michael Bourn, 30, whom the Braves didn’t want to sign to the kind of contract he seeks, longer and more lucrative annually than what they gave Upton.

“I’m excited, man,” said Heyward, who attended the news conference. “It adds a veteran, so to speak, but he’s still only 28 years old. Had playoff experience at a young age. That’s going to help this team. That’s one thing that’s exciting to me about the move. You know the talents he has, as far as speed, power and defense. But at the same time, he’s had playoff experience at an early age and says we’re ready to compete.”

“It’s great to feel like we’re going forward. We’re not going backwards.”

B.J. stands for “Bossman Junior,” a nickname that Melvin Emanuel Upton received at an early age as a nod to his father, known as Bossman.

Upton has seen his on-base percentage drop nearly 100 points over the past four seasons, to a career-low .298 in 2012. At the same time, he has increased his home-run totals each of the past four seasons, and has 51 homers and 159 RBIs over the past two seasons.

He said his last several seasons have been just “OK” and that he aims to raise his average and reduce his strikeouts in 2013.

Wren said the signing continues the Braves’ plan “to get younger and more athletic, and able to play the game the way it’s being played today. He brings a great defensive dimension and also power to the center field position. I think two weeks ago when he and his representative came in to visit us, we were blown away.

“Larry Reynolds is his agent, and we had talked in Palm Springs and he made it very clear that this would be a place that B.J. would like playing. And once he came and visited, we came away with a real positive impressive and we wanted to see if we could make this happen. So we were excited yesterday to finish the deal.”

Both parties gushed after a two-week whirlwind romance of sorts that began with a Nov. 15 visit to Atlanta and Turner Field, where Upton said he was blown away by the Braves’ family vibe and low-key, no-pressure presentation.

“These guys did a very good job,” Upton said. “They made me feel at home. That means more to me than anything.”

He talked for hours with Wren and Gonzalez that day, and the Braves brought in the big gun for the occasion, their iconic ex-manager.

“Bobby Cox was awesome,” Upton said, smiling. “I really didn’t know what to expect with him coming in the room. But just sitting down and talking to him, it was like I’d known him for years. That definitely was pretty cool…. These guys, they got me. There’s no other way to put it. They had me when I came here. I left here and I felt really good about it.”

And after doing a lot of background checks on Upton, talking to everyone from former teammates and coaches to clubhouse attendants, the Braves were convinced that Upton was the thoughtful, respectful and passionate player they talked to Nov. 15, not the petulant or lackluster sort some perceived after a couple of incidents in Tampa Bay.

“They all came back with roaring reviews of B.J., and that goes back to Mr. and Mrs. Upton and the upbringing they gave him,” Gonzalez said, nodding toward the two parents in the front row. “Because nobody ever said anything bad about him. And the clubhouse guys, in our business they know everything. And it was rave reviews. Not only can he perform on the field, he adds another dynamic to our clubhouse and to our club. It’s going to make us better.”

The largest previous Braves free-agent contract was pitcher Derek Lowe’s four-year, $60 million deal before the 2009 season. The Braves traded the disappointing Lowe to Cleveland in November 2011 and agreed to pay $10 million of his $15 million salary last season as a condition of the salary-dump deal.

Upton’s $15.05 million average salary over the next five seasons also makes him the highest-paid player in Braves history, surpassing the $15 million average Lowe received and the $15 million average that Chipper Jones got in a six-year, $90 million contract the iconic Braves third baseman signed in August 2000.

Asked if the contract might bring more pressure, Upton said, “I hope there’s not added pressure. But I’ve dealt with things like that in the past, the kind of things with what’s expected of me. So I won’t put any added pressure on myself. I’ll just go out and do what I can do help this team win.”

He’s pleased he’ll be able to stay at his Tampa home during spring training, and thrilled that he’ll play home games outdoors on grass, not the artificial turf of Tropicana Field, the Rays’ often maligned domed stadium.

“I’m pretty excited,” Upton said. “We all know artificial turf is a bit rougher on the body than natural surface. I think baseball is a game that’s made to be played outside, and I’m excited to be able to play [home games] outside, and then to be on some natural grass.”

182 comments Add your comment

brad

November 29th, 2012
8:33 pm

GO BRAVES!!!

Golden Sombreros

November 29th, 2012
8:49 pm

Go Bravos!!! For all te people bitching and moaning about Upton please let it go!!! He is a brave now and if you support this team then support Upton. If you are a fringe fan WE (the real fans) don’t need you anyways so hit the road. I would love to see Upton, Upton, Heyward as our outfield. Speed and Power is what this team really needs. Denard Span would have been a okay to nice piece, but not as nice as both Uptons IMO.

Amber Girl

November 29th, 2012
8:52 pm

I agree Make it happen Wren

kirkinga

November 29th, 2012
8:57 pm

So the Twins got Span for the #50 prospect and the Braves couldn’t do better?

Looks like Bourn is going to have to wait and hope the Yankees come in with one of their last minute-out of the blue deals.

kirkinga

November 29th, 2012
8:57 pm

So the Twins got Span for the #50 prospect and the Braves couldn’t do better?

Looks like Bourn is going to have to wait and hope the Yankees come in with one of their last minute-out of the blue deals.

Iowa Brave

November 29th, 2012
9:03 pm

Agreed Upton duo and then Young Upton can lead off!

Iowa Brave

November 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

Trade Pastornicky and Hansen to Ari for Upton!

Golden Sombreros

November 29th, 2012
9:11 pm

That wouldn’t be enough for J Upton, but I hope Wren can figure somehting out. 3 outfielders with 30/20, 30/20, and 30/30 potential….YES PLEASE!

Golden Sombreros

November 29th, 2012
9:11 pm

That wouldn’t be enough for J Upton, but I hope Wren can figure somehting out. 3 outfielders with 30/20, 30/20, and 30/30 potential….YES PLEASE!

TheGreatHambino

November 29th, 2012
9:13 pm

Would love Justin too, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’ll probably take Hanson, Teheran/Delgado, Ahmed and others (i.e. Spruill, Gilmartin, or others) to get it done.

Also, as for losing out on Denard Span- I’m not that upset. He is a very good defender, decent OBP (though basically equal to Bourn’s but less Ks), and decent AVG but no power and limited SB threat. Plus, I’m more afraid of Bourn on the Nats than Span, but we’ll see how Span reacts to the league change, if much at all.

And I doubt we’ll get Willingham, and I’m not sold on Fowler (esp w/ Coors splits). The asking price for either is pretty high and we’re going to give in we might as well go for something above the line. Just as long as we don’t give up Simmons, who if push comes to shove I think will be a decent leadoff guy if we get a non-leadoff LF type.

TheLuckiestMan

November 29th, 2012
9:15 pm

Arizona would never trade younger Upton for Pastornicky and Hanson. They want Simmons, Pastornicky won’t satiate them.

The Great Hambino

November 29th, 2012
9:15 pm

I would love to get Justin too, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’ll probably take at least Hanson, Teheran/Delgado, Ahmed, and others like Spruill, Gilmartin, or other position players like Lipka and Salcedo.

Also, as for losing out on Denard Span- I’m not that upset. He is a very good defender, decent OBP (though basically equal to Bourn’s but less Ks), and decent AVG but no power and limited SB threat. Plus, I’m more afraid of Bourn on the Nats than Span, but we’ll see how Span reacts to the league change, if much at all.

And I doubt we’ll get Willingham, and I’m not sold on Fowler (esp w/ Coors splits). The asking price for either is pretty high and we’re going to give in we might as well go for something above the line. Just as long as we don’t give up Simmons, who if push comes to shove I think will be a decent leadoff guy if we get a non-leadoff LF type.

Doctor Glenbo

November 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

Disappointed that the Braves didn’t make the trade for Span. I’m guessing the Twins probably wanted Tehran instead of Delgado, whom the Braves don’t seem to willing to part with.

But the possibility that we could still maybe get Justin Upton is very exciting. This would create a big buzz for the city as well as likely drawing bigger crowds.

Nobody’s taking Simmons though; could we possibly take the Rangers approach in trying to get J. Upton? We could trade for an enticing SS prospect and then trade him away to AZ along with prospects for Upton. The Braves have to make a splash in the NL, and getting Justin Upton could help to finally put us over the hump.

Oh, and if we do get a power LF instead of a speedy LF, then Simmons would very likely lead off.

Josh

November 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Excited always been a Upton fan lets go braves let’s trade and get Justin Upton

Josh Quattlebaum

November 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Excited always been a Upton fan lets go braves let’s trade and get Justin Upton

Josh Quattlebaum

November 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Excited always been a Upton fan lets go braves let’s trade and get Justin Upton

Josh

November 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Excited always been a Upton fan lets go braves let’s trade and get Justin Upton

Josh Quattlebaum

November 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Excited always been a Upton fan lets go braves let’s trade and get Justin Upton

Ken Stallings

November 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

I’d trade Tommy Hanson for Justin Upton in a heartbeat! Just if that creates the salary space and we had to throw in another pitching prospect, I’d do it. The Braves are rich in that area.

Amber Girl

November 29th, 2012
9:44 pm

Good nite from New South Wales Everyone. Have a good nite. Bye Se ya tomorrow. GO BRAVES!!!!

Darkcow

November 29th, 2012
9:45 pm

If the Phils highest offer was $55 mil, why the hell did we go $20 mil higher? I understand Wren didn’t want to drag on negotiations for too long and risk losing out on him (which I wish he did), but I think he tipped his hand a little early.

Darkcow

November 29th, 2012
9:46 pm

I’m not a big fan of this signing, but if Wren can get Dexter to lead off and play LF that would obviously help the top of the order, and solidify our D even more. We need more guys like Dex that make contact rather than these big K/”power” guys. Power doesn’t play well in the postseason

[...] Newest Brave Upton excited about fresh start [...]

O'Dandelo

November 29th, 2012
10:00 pm

I like the signing more than I don’t like it. And while I don’t know what it would take to get the younger Upton in a trade (since Simmons is justifiably untouchable), I do hope that Wren has enough pieces to tempt the Diamondbacks. Ahmed, Hanson, Teheran, and another decent prospect, maybe. It would take at least that, I’m sure.

Fowler would be a good last resort as well as a solid leadoff guy, although no one can deny his home/away splits are deeply concerning.

And I personally feel that Uggla will have something of a comeback year. Maybe not a dramatic turnaround, but enough to make us somewhat happy. Mccann will bounce back to at least .260, hopefully .275 or higher. All in all, once that final LF piece is in place, I’ll be genuinely excited about the 2013 season. The Braves will be in a position to call themselves the equals of the Nats.

urban redneck

November 29th, 2012
10:16 pm

that money’s burnin a hole in their pockets.

vito

November 29th, 2012
10:38 pm

most years people say spend money we go get da 4 rated FA now people still unhappy yes we need a leadoff hitter but give them a chance

Johnny inSain

November 29th, 2012
10:55 pm

I understand bringing Bobby in to close the deal, but I wonder if they ever bring in Hammerin’ Hank.

Rowsdower

November 29th, 2012
11:11 pm

The Braves sign a dynamic, uber talented player in his prime and people still bitch. A couple of points.

The Braves weren’t able to pull the trigger on a Span deal because the Twins wanted a flamethrowing prospect. The Braves don’t have one of those. Someone mentioned he was the 50th ranked prospect. He was only rated that low because he spent last year in Single A. He will be rated MUCH higher next year.

I would much rather have Dexter Fowler than Span anyway. He is an Atlanta kid that would love to play at home. Imagine an outfield of Heyward, Upton and Fowler. Would a ball ever fall in? You would literally have to hit it over the wall. He won’t cost much in prospects and the Braves have the ammo to go get him. Justin Upton is a dream. No way Wren pulls a Schuerholz and blows up the farm to get him.

Yuuup

November 29th, 2012
11:11 pm

For those saying that it is alright that we didn’t get Span because he doesn’t hit homeruns, think about this. We now have at least 5 of the 9 guys in our lineup that are homerun threats each and every time they come to the plate.

Heyward
Freeman
Upton
Uggla
McCann

so what this team needs is a leadoff hitter who has a high OBP, and hits the ball from line to line. A prototypical leadoff hitter hits for a high average, hits alot of doubles and triples, has speed, and gets on base anyway he can. Span fits that bill perfectly, but unfortunately now we will have to witness him doing his damage against us, and not for us.

I am ok with not getting him as long as we get a player similar to him to play LF and leadoff for us. Someone like Fowler or Gordon would be ideal. Victorino is all of that, plus he is a switch hitter and has power. So we have 5 guys that are a threat to hit the long ball, as long as the other 3 (not including the pitcher in this conversation) Simmons, Prado, and the unknown LF’er just get on base at a high percentage, the rest should play itself out.

We all know Prado and Simmons are more than capable of getting on base at a high percentage, now its Wren’s job to make sure that the new LF’er does the same. Hopefully by playing with guys like Heyward, Freeman, Prado, Uggla, and McCann, Upton will turn things around in Atlanta. Its the only thing we fans can hope for, because like it or not, Upton is a Brave, and will be for a while.

Zac in Tempe

November 29th, 2012
11:16 pm

The Phillies never got into really serious talks. Is Ichiro still a free agent?

Prado4President

November 29th, 2012
11:20 pm

I’d guess if we were to get Upton; we’d have to trade: Ahmed, Hanson, Teheran/Delgado, Fransisco, and maybe one other. Long-shot but possible.

Rowsdower

November 29th, 2012
11:21 pm

Well said, Yuuup. I truly believe that Wren will make a run at Fowler and, if that fails, will set his sights on Victorino. I also believe that Upton tried too hard last year to get a big contract. He has historically been a high OPS guy and I think he will revert to that form. He has all the talent in the world and he’s motivated. I think he will be a big addition and a fine #5 hitter in this lineup. I usually don’t do the lineup thing, but this is what I envision:

Fowler/Victorino – LF
Prado – 3B
Freeman – 1B
Heyward – RF
Upton – CF
Uggla – 2B
Laird – C
Simmons – SS

Flip flop McCann and Uggla when he comes back. That’s a pretty damn good lineup, and with our pitching, i’m excited. Besides, I would rather the Nats had Span than Bourn. Let Bourn go to Phillie. They’re old and are less of a threat.

Klaus

November 29th, 2012
11:31 pm

Justin will take:

Ahmed, Delgado or Julio T, Gilmartin and Cunningham or Juan F to get a conversation going.

Make no mistake Wren and Towers will be meeting a fair bit in Nashville. I suspect Towers & Moore will be in Wren’s company throughout the week.

Fowler would be a fall back but in terms of feasibility:

1) Fowler
2) Upton
3) Myers (will take Melden or Minor in a package)

Klaus

November 29th, 2012
11:33 pm

Hanson in either and AZ or KC deal will require sending them salary bc Hanson’s is a 4-5 pitcher right now.

KC wants a TOR guy and AZ needs at least a 2a.

BERNIE

November 30th, 2012
12:09 am

The Braves need offense. What are you going to do Mr. Wrenn? Upton is batting in the middle of the order so we need a leadoff hitter. When you have no offense you want get very far in the playoffs. Please get some offense Mr. Wrenn.

Coach B

November 30th, 2012
12:20 am

Enter your comments here

huddy00

November 30th, 2012
12:34 am

what about angel pagan?

Coach B

November 30th, 2012
12:39 am

Another stupid deal by FW. Get a good GM.

I know that as a college baseball coach, I know little. This much I do know, someone who has a .298 obo kills a team. Upton is not worth more than 8 to 9 million a year period. He getting paid a premium for one good year and a bundle of yet to be realized potential. Like Ken R from fox sports said essentially, a player with 8 years of service time isn’t going to all of a sudden become someone he hasn’t been. Unfortunately he has been going the wrong direction for the last several.
If the Braves had only one player who struck out a ton this would have been doable given nearly 30 homeruns, but when 3 of 8 everyday players and then a fourth being the pitcher are killing any momentum, the braves will struggle to score runs consistently just like they did this past year. They will go on hot and cold streaks again. Better hope they make the playoff heading into a hot streak.

rainman34

November 30th, 2012
12:44 am

How great would it be to get J upton. Here are some ideas. Go get A escobar from kc. They want pitching and moore knows hanson well and what he can be. Hanson and Delgado would get it done I would think. If not that A cabrera from the indians. For them you have to put in minor instead of hanson and add ahmed and maybe even more. The trade to az would be the ss, teheran and Gilmartin plus a young high ceiling type.
Lineup
simmons
prado
heyward
j upton
freeman
bj upton
mac
uggla

rotation
meds
huddy
Maholm
Hanson – Minor depending on trade
Then sign a millwood type until beachy comes back then you have even more trade bait.
Or give sprull or graham a shot.

Rowsdower

November 30th, 2012
12:50 am

Yes, lets blowup the entire farm again. My god, didn’t you learn your lesson in the Teixeira deal?

rainman34

November 30th, 2012
12:53 am

Very big difference upton has three years on his deal and would be much more likely to extend so it is nothing like the tex deal at all as he had one and a half with no intent to stay in atlanta.

rainman34

November 30th, 2012
12:54 am

Also would be trading form depth we are loaded in pitching and young ss.

BUGGSY

November 30th, 2012
1:31 am

like this deal alot,Wren is not done yet by a long shot..heard a rumor we were going to sign another pitcher and we are in trade talks with 3 teams right now…will know more on the rumor sat. evening..Brave fans are goin to be very happy..(well most real brave fans will be)..GO BRAVES!!

Bud

November 30th, 2012
1:42 am

If a big trade is to be made, I’d rather have Stanton.

Rowsdower

November 30th, 2012
1:54 am

rain – Not that big a difference at all. Yes, Justin is controlled for more years, but the devestation to the farm system would be on par. We don’t need another hell like 2005-2009. Plus, I live in Texas. Do you know how much it sux to see the Rangers win 2 pennants with OUR FUQING PLAYERS?!

The REAL Phil

November 30th, 2012
2:39 am

Can anyone tell me why we would pay someone a gazillion dollars who strikes out more than Uggla? Between him and McCann and Heyward and Freeman and this guy there will be times where they strike out 5 Braves in a row. I got so sick of seeing Uggla strike out and this guy struck out more?

Rowsdower

November 30th, 2012
2:54 am

It only seems like a gazillion dollars, Phil, because he is the highest paid Brave in history. Trust me, you will be more than happy with his production. This team is a Fowler away from being the best team in the NL.

Infinite Poo

November 30th, 2012
2:56 am

I support Upton now that he’s a Brave but I’m always weary of hefty contracts for long term deals regarding players that come from other teams. The Braves are a class-act organization of professionals, I just don’t want to see some guy come in and ‘not run to first base’ on a ground out. I know everyone complains about Uggla but that guy plays every game like it’s game 7 of the world series and that’s how a “Brave” should play even if he struggles. Everything I hear about Upton is that he plays when he wants to, he has tons of talent but doesn’t exactly give it his all every game. I do hope he flourishes in hot-lanta, I don’t judge a player on his past because Upton seemingly needed a fresh start: so welcome to our family, lets go deep in the playoffs now and get the Bravo’s back on the map as a dynasty.

Rowsdower

November 30th, 2012
3:08 am

I’m astounded by the number of people holding the few times B.J. didn’t run a ball out against him. You do realize that Andruw had his problems and he was the best defensive player in the history of the franchise? He was ok with a bat in his hands too…if I recall.

eddie57

November 30th, 2012
7:22 am

If the $55 million figure is right it is just another nail in the Wren overpaying history with the Braves. Whenever Wren panics like with Lowe, KK and the Ugglier extension he hamstrings the Braves budget for years. You guys wanting both Uptons are just crazy, they’re not even the Alou brothers talent-wise or character-wise. We should all be praying that Ugglier comes back to at least 240 and 30 homers or it will be a long K-filled year.

Pippa'sRoundMeatyBackside

November 30th, 2012
7:27 am

Somebody step up and post some stats for the last 20 years. I’d like to extract from these,if possible,just ho many strikeouts Upton is above WAR. Thanks for you time.

Evaluate This !

November 30th, 2012
7:57 am

Chipper, Bourn & Ross are gone;

We get BJ Upton, a low batting average, occasional power & a pathetic OBP of .298

How is this team any better ?

mcrin

November 30th, 2012
8:08 am

The thing about Span, he is a left handed bat…though the price the Nats paid seemed to be cheap I wonder if the Braves are looking for a right handed bat instead.

Replacing Bourne with another lefty wouldn’t make much sense. Replacing Chiipper’s right handed bat with Uption is OK, bringing in another lefty would make the Braves as lefty dominant as they were last year.

Joe Nuxall

November 30th, 2012
8:21 am

Well, the loss of Span is ok, he still has to come thru a learning curve with the NL pitchers. Would love to have Justin in LF, but don’t think FW will part with too much of the farm. Fowler would be a nice pickup, as well as Victorino. The Braves don’t have a whole lot left in the coffers to get a lot more talent.

RLG

November 30th, 2012
8:30 am

Why not pay Bourn $!5K/yr and put him in Left Field. Then we would have Bourn in Left, Upton in Center and Heyward in Right.

Frank Wren

November 30th, 2012
8:36 am

another option, one that Fredi is partial to, is a platoon in
LF between Matty Diaz & Jordan Schafer

ga gator

November 30th, 2012
8:53 am

Go all out for Victorino and make the Phillies pay.

Richard

November 30th, 2012
9:01 am

Give Arizona Teheran or Delgado, Ernesto Mejia, Hanson, and Evan Gattis for Justin Upton. Mejia is a good prospect, but with no path to the big leagues in Atlanta, with another top tier outfielder, Gattis will be stuck too. Everybody agrees that we can give up one of the big prospects, and throw in Hanson for salary relief (although I’m not sure they’d take him).

Don

November 30th, 2012
9:14 am

Upton – against best 1/3 of pitchers – HIT .168 WITH NO HOME RUNS.
Overall – hit less than .250 with an On Base Average less than .300 – and approaching 200 Strike Outs.
For this they pay 75 MILLION for 5 years.
The Braves must be BRAIN DEAD.

Tommy Boggs

November 30th, 2012
9:16 am

My issue with the UPTON signing is the fact we overpaid. Now move on and sign Victorino. Between Schafer and Costanza one stays and platoons in CFwith Victorino. I prefer out of options Schafer to platoon with Victorino batting leadoff. Move UPTON to LF.
All the talk about how our hitting coaches can help UPTON, how about how they can work with Schafer? This kid is out of options and this might be his last chance to take advantage of his promising ability. He is also a better CF then UPTON.

NORRIS CHUCK

November 30th, 2012
9:19 am

Why are people saying the Span needs to adjust to NL pitching? Didnt Upton come from the AL too???

And some others need to stop complaining about Upton. The one thing that Upton has over Bourn is, hold on, its a little bit of a secret but i will share it anyway…HE IS RIGHT HANDED.

Don

November 30th, 2012
9:22 am

So Golden Sombreros, we should all get on board for paying 75 Million for a player who hits less than .250 with an On Base Average of less than .300 and approachers 200 Strike Outs.
PROBLEM IS even those terrible numbers are concentrated against the WEAKER pitchers.
Against the BEST 1/3 OF PITCHERS, he HIT .168 with NO HOME RUNS.
What a BARGAIN.

RBI

November 30th, 2012
9:25 am

“For the record, the Braves would probably have to trade pitcher Tommy Hanson…”
For Pete’s sake, trade him NOW!

Don

November 30th, 2012
9:31 am

Norris Chuck, – don’t quite understand – what difference does it make whether he is right handed or left handed – if he doesn’t produce.
Hitting .168 with NO HOME RUNS agaisnt the best 1/3 of the pitchers.
A real winner.

Joey

November 30th, 2012
9:31 am

If he hits a lick after the All Star Game, it will a bonus over what we had in CF.

Remember how disappointed we were last off season when the Braves “stayed pat?”

Frank’s trying to get Braves fans a WS.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Tommy Boggs

November 30th, 2012
9:33 am

Thanks for sharing the secret about UPTON being a right handed batter.
It is no secret we overpaid for a career .250 hitter who is a strikeout machine.
If he is worth 15 millon a season WTF is Prado worth? We couldn’t pony up 3 millon a year for Ross but can blow a ton of money on this guy. Wren would fit in could managing the federal budget.

RBI

November 30th, 2012
9:33 am

I am glad he is happy to be here. For that deal, he should be.
Also, it’s funny to me how they trot out Bobby Cox to lure players, and not the current manager.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
9:34 am

Guys I heard a rumor that Braves were in negotions with other teams about a pitcher. WHY? We don/t need pitching. We need hitters. What is going on?

Red Pants

November 30th, 2012
9:44 am

This biggest problem I have with this signing is what it does for future negotiations with Heyward and Freeman. If those guys stay on their current progression trajectory and Upton just got $15 mil per year, can you imagine what they will demand when contract time comes? Might as well kiss them goodbye. Awful forward thinking displayed by Wren.

NORRIS CHUCK

November 30th, 2012
9:44 am

People like to sit behind their computers and play GM, Owner, Coach all the time while eating cheezy puffs, Snickers and drinking Mountain Dew and complain. They know nothing about stepping to the plate in a major league game and watching a 95 mph fastball come at them, nothing about shooting a free throw in an NBA game with 1 second on the clock or trying to cover a 6-4 200 pound wide out that runs a 4.4 50 yd dash.

I dont know either, i played all three sports really well, but not good enough for the professional level. I accept that, im good.

But we are all quick to be critical of a professional atheletes especially one that wants to come to the city of Never-Won-Anything-Atlanta.

Just be grateful and root for the team!

dewey

November 30th, 2012
9:45 am

this is the off-season that is going to make or break frank wren’s career with braves. had lots of money, lots of minor league depth to deal from and lots of holes to fill. I give the upton signing a C+. Upton will win lots of games for us during the regular season, but come post-season time, these types of players rarely mean much. it’s always the lesser known players who actually make contact with the ball that cause their teams to win. there’s always a chance something good will happen when you make contact with the ball, nothing good happens if you swing and miss. let’s not forget, when schurholtz built this team in the early 90’s, he didnt bring in a bunch of fence busters, but with good clubhouse guys, good gloves, who made contact, pendleton, bream, belliard, nixon. we had a couple guys that could hit the long ball, justice, gant, we needed pieces around them that always had a chance to put the ball in play, keep an inning going, right now, the only one in the lineup that can do that on a consistent basis is prado, you need people like that through out your lineup, not just once every nine batters. make something happen frank, we need to score runs consistently, not in huge bunches for one game then nothing for 2 games. if a guy hits 30 homeruns, he’s really only doing something once every 5-6 games.

NORRIS CHUCK

November 30th, 2012
9:48 am

RBI,

Nice comment.

Dont know why people in Atlanta cant just go with a good week of sports activity here.

The Hawks just won their 6th game in a row.
The Braves signed a possible stud.
The Falcons just beat the Caints.
And the Dogs are playing in the SEC Championship game.

Come on folks, get behind your state!

Don

November 30th, 2012
9:49 am

is it true that the Braves are searching baseball for another player who also hits less than .250 and approaches 200 Strike Outs to go with Uggla and Upton?
Granted, it is difficult to find players with those kind of stats.
And of course, in order to get one, they will have to again give a huge salary and a long term contract.

Tommy Boggs

November 30th, 2012
9:51 am

I never held a political office so I can’t complain about a politician.
I was never a chef so I can’t complain if I don’t like the meal when I go out to eat.

Thanks for making everyone feel better about the Braves moving forward.

Red Pants

November 30th, 2012
9:51 am

@Norris Chuck

I’m actually drinking black coffee and eating granola with strawberries, pretty healthy breakfast.

Also, no one is being critical of BJ for taking the offer, of course he accepted that money and good for him. The questions are directed towards Wren and how he is spending the little money the franchise has. I’d say that is being an engaged, intelligent fan.

NORRIS CHUCK

November 30th, 2012
10:02 am

Well, here is something that we all should know. Wren is spending the money because HE was given permission to spend that money. That comes with the business of sports.

And the funny thing about it, the fans always complain about how the money is being spent, but someway or another, they still spend money on said franchise. And if they dont spend money, they still secretly support said franchise after their public display of frustration.

As fans, we go through this every off-season. Its the Atlanta Braves money, no matter how us fans look it and there are only 3 things we can do about it;

1. Support the team
2. Find another team
3. Buy our own team

Its the nature of being a sports fan, thats what we do.

Carroll

November 30th, 2012
10:05 am

You know that sinking feeling you had in the playoff game….right after the infield fly debacle when we had runners at second and third with two out…i’ll bet that you, like me, were begging for pinch-hitter Brian McCann to swing the bat because you knew who was coming up next–Micheal Bourn and his propensity for strikeouts. I effing HATE that feeling, yet it is the feeling that has permeated my being as a Braves fan going back as far as I can remember. So many undisciplined, non-obp-oriented hitters who cannot manage to step up in clutch situations with any type of reliability or regularity. And this is exactly what we just got more of–$75 mill more!! We should all protest and refuse to support the Braves until they fire this madman Wren!

Joey

November 30th, 2012
10:05 am

Obviously, there are folks who won’t be happy, regardless of what Frank Wren does. They had melt-downs at his lack of moves last off-season.

Now, surprise, melt-downs again . . .

Carroll

November 30th, 2012
10:20 am

there is a big difference between beinga little let down or disappointed by the lack of a move last season, and being devastated by knowing that he just blew the entire wad on a clearly non-wad-worthy player, and we will have no flexibility to change our team’s destiny for years and years.

Toy Roy Boy

November 30th, 2012
10:25 am

What about Pastornicky & Delgado & Jurrgens for Justin Upton ?

Rick C

November 30th, 2012
10:34 am

“What about Pastornicky & Delgado & Jurrgens for Justin Upton ?”

You can’t be serious.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
10:47 am

Rick C What is Toy Roy boy smoking or drinking? I want on Norris Chuck bandwagon. Quit complaining and support your state and I don’t live in the state and never have. Go Braves!!!

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
10:47 am

@ DON….Yes get on board or shut the hell up! Seriously all this bitching is annoying as hell. Either you’re a Braves fan and support the team or you don’t because there is NOTHING you can do about it now. You can debate the FA signing to be good or not until you’re blue in the face, but it DOESN’T matter because he IS a Brave. Time to get behind it and support the team. Go Bravos!

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
10:50 am

@ Amber…maybe we are adding a pitcher to replace one(s) we are trading away? Either way I hope we get someone with speed and power for the LF spot.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
10:53 am

Golden Sombreros Is there a possiblety that we are going to trade Hanson and get J. Upton?

Delbert D.

November 30th, 2012
10:58 am

Don’t even think about Angel Pagan. He’s an oxymoron.

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
10:58 am

I have no idea, but I’d be all for it as long as we didn’t deplete our entire farm system. However, I do think we are in a much better position this time around as opposed to the TEX trade. We have been stock piling all this young talent for a reason. We finally have some money to spend and a decently stocked farm system. I wouldn’t be opposed to a Wil Myers trade either…although I think KC is a tad crazy to think Myers warrants the kind of return J Upton would get.

Don

November 30th, 2012
11:01 am

Do you not understand.
He HIT ONLY .168 with NO (ZERO) HOME RUNS against the better Pitchers – against the best 1/3 of the Pitchers.

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
11:05 am

Do you not understand?

He also hit 28 homers and stole over 30 bags. Look at what Greg Walker did for J-Hey. You seriously don’t think they can help out Upton? I mean damn bro….Bourn had almost as many strikeouts as Upton and people LOVED him for the most part. Get OVER it. He is a BRAVE so either support he team or go be a stinking Philly Fan.

Rick C

November 30th, 2012
11:05 am

Don, we got it the first time, second time, and third time.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
11:12 am

Don, Get a hobby. Get a life. Support your team or go away. I love the Braves. Have been a Brave fan for 10 yrs and I am only 15. So be loyal or go somewhere else.

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
11:16 am

@ Amber….now that I know you’re 15 that comment that dude left you yesterday on the blogs just became super creepy!! I guess that’s what you get with the internet. lol

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
11:19 am

Oh Well That is his problem. LOL

Golden Sombreros

November 30th, 2012
11:21 am

@ Don, I’m just curious….what would make you happy this offseason? since you clearly despise the upton signing.

Bud

November 30th, 2012
11:31 am

If the Braves trade for Upton, then Prado is moving to third. That would make Terdo available for the trade. So, I would offer Hanson, Teheran, Pastornicky, and Terdoslavich.

George_George

November 30th, 2012
11:31 am

Don

November 30th, 2012
9:14 am
Upton – against best 1/3 of pitchers – HIT .168 WITH NO HOME RUNS.
Overall – hit less than .250 with an On Base Average less than .300 – and approaching 200 Strike Outs.
For this they pay 75 MILLION for 5 years.
The Braves must be BRAIN DEAD.
*****************************
AGREED as a matter of fact over the past three year he has not been able to reach a .250 BA. GOD HELP US, BJ is our highest paid player, DOB sure did a great job of selling BJ to us.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Would cetain people on here quit complaining, Us loyal Brave fans are kind of tired of the constant complaining.If you can’t say something nice,become a phillie fan. They love to complain.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Would cetain people on here quit complaining, Us loyal Brave fans are kind of tired of the constant complaining.If you can’t say something nice,become a phillie fan. They love to complain.

Amber Girl

November 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Would cetain people on here quit complaining, Us loyal Brave fans are kind of tired of the constant complaining.If you can’t say something nice,become a phillie fan. They love to complain.

ChipperisGod

November 30th, 2012
11:38 am

BJ sounded like a respectable, hungry baseball player ready to take the next step in his development. The OBP and high strike out total worry me, but I’m also really excited about the signing.

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