MLB Rumors: Atlanta Braves Willing to Swap Martin Prado?

By Michael Collins

There is a new trade rumor circulating about Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton, and it involves the Atlanta Braves.

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has stated that he’s not currently shopping Upton, but he will listen to offers, and it would appear that he’s already getting interest from a few teams.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were linked to Upton this month, but they may not have enough of what Arizona needs in return.  However,  Buster Olney noted that the Braves could possibly offer infielder Martin Prado and some pitching prospects.

The one prospect name that the Braves had previously listed as “untouchable” is Julio Teheran, but he might turn out to be part of a multi-player trade in this case.  Teheran, who has yet to really deliver on some of the promise he had shown, has made one spot start so far in 2012.

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The names of Mike Minor and Randall Delgado are always included with any Braves trade talk, but after a disappointing start to the season for both of them, their stock may have dropped too much for Arizona to have any real interest in them.

Here’s where you hear the collective gasp from Braves’ fans.  It would seem likely that Martin Prado would have to be included in any deal for Upton, as the Diamondbacks are still searching for an answer at third base.  The issue for the Braves would then become what their plan at third base will be with Chipper Jones retiring after this season.  It could possibly mean a position switch for Dan Uggla from his spot at second base over to third, a scenario that has already been discussed in Atlanta.

From a cost standpoint, it could make sense for the Braves.  Atlanta is going to be wrapped up in trying to decide what to do with the pending contract situations with Michael Bourn and Brian McCann, so having Upton as a possible replacement for Bourn in center field might help in the decision making process.

Upton is hitting .273, with seven home runs, and 37 RBI so far in 2012.

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