After MLB rumors were swirling were weeks, the Atlanta Braves finally landed Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a seven-player trade to play alongside his brother, B.J. Upton in the outfield. With the trade, the main question now is whether the Braves should be considered the team to beat in the NL East.
With all due respect to the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, it’s clear this division is going to come down to the Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals when it comes to favorites. The Nationals managed to win their first division title in 2012 since the move from Montreal and they could be even more dangerous heading into 2013 now that they have a year of playoff experience under their belt–so it certainly won’t be easy for the Braves.
There’s no question Atlanta will give Washington a run for their money when it comes to the division title in 2013 and the acquisition of Upton will be huge for this team from a talent perspective. Upton is coming off a 2012 season in which he recorded a .280 batting average to go along with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs.
Now that he’s a member of the Braves, don’t be surprised if those numbers go up in 2013 as he’ll have an even strong supporting cast than he did in Arizona. Atlanta knows it won’t be easy to overcome teams like the Nationals and Phillies in the division–so let’s hope the acquisition of Upton pays off for them this season.
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