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Padres, Preller Acquire Justin Upton from Braves 

Smith Transactions

I told myself that I was going to stop prefacing these quick articles with any sort of remark or surprise… but just when I think the stove has cooled down, it flares up once again under the run-and-gun tactics of GM A.J. Preller. I mean, honestly. Does this guy ever sleep?

The San Diego Padres have reportedly acquired outfielder Justin Upton for a 1-year contract from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Max Fried, SS Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson and OF Mallex Smith. The report broke this morning just after 7:20am PST, with several sources confirming the deal.

Once again, the teams have yet to make any announcement or suggestion that the deal has been finalized and formalized.

The 27-year old Upton is a well-known star in the baseball world, having collected All-Star nods in 2009 and 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as two Louisville Silver Slugger awards in 2011 and 2014.

Upton carries with him an impressive career .274/.354/.476 line with 535 RBI and 164 homeruns over an 8-year period. Upton finished his 2014 campaign with a .270/.342/.491 line with 29 homeruns – his most since hitting 31 homeruns in 2011.

Upton was a first-round draft pick and first-pick-overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 MLB draft out of Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Upton ultimately made his debut back in August of 2007, and is entering the last year of a 6-year, $50 Million contract he had initially made with the Diamondbacks. Although it is unclear if Upton would be willing to sign an extension following the 2015 season with the Padres, the 1-year contract that the Padres control with Upton right now is a major undertaking for the now talent-packed team.

On the other side of the coin, the Padres are giving up a considerable number of Minor League prospects over to the Atlanta Braves. LHP Max Fried, a first-round draft pick and seventh-pick-overall by the Padres back in 2012, most recently played with the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps finishing with a 0-1 record and 4.76 ERA over two starts. SS Jace Peterson, the young 23-year old infielder who made his major league debut with the Padres last season, was given very little exposure to the show but showed a lot of promise during his time spent at 2B and 3B. Finally, OF’s Dustin Peterson and Mallex Smith finished strong seasons at the Single-A and Single-A Advanced levels with Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, respectively.

With the recent barrage of acquisitions and trades, a lot of hype and excitement surrounds this now heavily talented San Diego Padres baseball club. The addition of All-Star caliber players like Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, and now Justin Upton put the Padres in a formidable position entering the 2015 campaign. Tides are oft to change however, and with the depletion of the Padres farm system for a team that carries “championship-caliber talent” right now, the immediate future for the San Diego Padres appears bright while the distant future remains to be seen.

For more information as the deals become final, and for reactions and opinions on the Padres recent foray into the offseason hot stove, check out more content here on The Friarhood.



About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!