Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Justin Upton joins brother B.J. on Atlanta Braves

For the first time since he was a high school freshman, Justin Upton will have brother B.J. as a teammate after Arizona traded Justin, a rightfielder, to Atlanta on Thursday.

The Braves also got third baseman Chris Johnson and gave up Martin Prado, a 2010 All-Star at second who will play third for Arizona, right-hander Randall Delgado, one of their top prospects, and three minor-leaguers: right-hander Zeke Spruill, shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Brandon Drury.

B.J. Upton, 28, a centerfielder, left the Rays in November for a five-year, $75.25 million deal. Justin, 25, has three years and $38.5 million left on his deal. Now they will team with Jason Heyward, a Gold Glove winner in 2012, in the outfield.

"I feel with the extra push from each other, there's no question we can be the best outfield in baseball," said Justin, who recently invoked his no-trade clause to reject a deal to the Mariners.

Tweeted B.J.: "Can't wait to get this season started. Gonna be a blast playing with (Justin) and (Heyward) in the outfield."

Justin said he previously got tips from his brother from afar.

"I think more than anything, (I'll be) able to show up at the ballpark genuinely excited every day and have that energy," he said. "The more energy you can bring from the start every day, it makes you a better player."

Upton, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, came to the majors at age 19. In 2011, he had career highs of 31 homers and 88 RBIs. Last year, he fell to 17 and 67). Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers said he believes a change of scenery will benefit Upton.

"The expectations were through the roof on him," Towers said. "When the team struggled, it seemed like it was always because of Justin. (Now he has) an opportunity to go to a different place … where he's just a piece of the puzzle versus the centerpiece and the big piece of the puzzle."

Around the league: Pedro Martinez who helped Boston win a World Series, was brought back as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington. … Right-hander Shaun Marcum agreed to a one-year deal with the Mets. He went 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers last season. … Free agent right-hander Carl Pavano, 37, ruptured his spleen when he fell while shoveling snow, Fox Sports reported. He's not expected to be healthy until May.

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