According to ESPN.com, the Atlanta Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in serious negotiations over Justin Upton. The two-time All-Star outfielder has been the subject of numerous rumors this off-season, but it looks like the D’backs are trying to speed up the process as the sources report that they want to finish a deal for Upton in the next 48 hours.
The D’backs allegedly have asked for young shortstop Andrelton Simmons, but the Braves have balked at that and look to be building a deal around pitching. They have numerous pitchers that could be attractive to Arizona including Julio Teheran, J.R. Graham and Luke Sims. Major league pitcher Mike Minor (11-10, 4.12 ERA in 2012) has also been mentioned in previous discussion regarding the two teams.
Atlanta would seem to be an attractive destination for Upton as his brother B.J. was signed by the Braves this off-season and the two brothers remain close.
Upton rejected a trade earlier this month to Seattle and it appears that the Upton-D’backs divorce could be settled in the next couple of days.
The Baltimore Orioles have also been busy as they look to acquire Jason Kubel from the D’backs. Kubel is coming off a season in which he hit .253 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI’s and could be a valuable addition to an Orioles team who is trying to replace the power that left with Mark Reynolds. The market for Kubel won’t net Arizona anywhere near what they could get for Upton and that could be the reason why Kubel might remain with the club.
It seems to be whichever deal might be sealed first is the direction in which the D’backs will go. If it’s Upton, then they keep Kubel. If it’s Kubel, then they keep Upton. Stay tuned to see how it all plays out.