With the Braves playing the Diamondbacks in a three game series starting tonight, there are inevitable discussions and assessments about the trade that brought Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta, and sent Martin Prado and prospects, to Arizona.
Braves manager, Fredi Gonzalez, isn’t in the business of publicly assessing trades, but he is very happy with Justin Upton. “He’s been everything we hoped for, and more,” Gonzalez said. “His work ethic is off the charts. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him; he’s an intense competitor.”
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Personally, I think just short of the quarter pole, in the first season, is way too early to assess the trade. Sure things look great at this point for the Braves, with Justin Upton having won the National League Player of the Month for April, and Chris Johnson hitting over .300.
Looking past the overall numbers, did you know that since his hot April, Upton is hitting .227 with no homers, three extra base-hits and three RBI in the past 13 games? And that Chris Johnson has gone 0 for 17 in the last six games he has played?
If you are going to say that the Braves won the trade with Arizona, don’t you also have to say that they lost the B.J. Upton acquisition? The Braves signed B.J. Upton to a $75 million contract over 5 years, right now he is ranked #173 out of #175 hitters in the National League.
Way too early to make any firm assessments on the trade with Arizona, or the B.J. Upton acquisition, in my opinion. B.J. has a long track record of accomplishment in his career, and needs to be given more time to adjust to his new team, and the National League.
Right or wrong, the Justin Upton/Chris Johnson acquisitions will be judged on how much the Braves as a team accomplish, as it will be on Justin Upton’s and Chris Johnson’s personal stats.