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Head, heart divided on Prado deal

Do the intangibles matter? Do strikeouts not? Depends on your school of thought.

I think they can both be true. Having a player who serves as an example for others by the way he plays the game is a plus — but it doesn’t compare with talent. Justin Upton could win an MVP this year. Martin never will.

Yes, an out is an out but some outs are productive. Strikeouts never are — but they are better than double plays. A strikeout-heavy line-up is prone to collective slumps, and this one should be no different.

Upton’s 121 K’s aren’t bad fora power hitter; I’m more troubled by Chris Johnson’s 131 K’s in 136 games. He’s likely to be platoon with Bigger Frank, who struck out 70 times in 192 AB’s. McCann and Andrelton are the only line-up regulars who won’t top 100 K’s.

Defensively, the Braves have gotten worse. The outfield is a little better but third base could be a nightmare. Chris Francisco is likely to be to 3B what Uggla is to second.

I’m glad the Braves didn’t trade any of their best pitching prospects. If I wasn’t so attached to Martin I’d probably like this trade.

Instead, I’m conflicted

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13 Comments on Head, heart divided on Prado deal

  1. roadrunner48 // January 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm //

    I’m of the same mind. I’m very fond of Prado and hate to see him go. This lineup is going to set a franchise record for strikeouts.

    I’m happily surprised that Gattis wasn’t dealt. Wren must see him as a possibility behind the plate for 2014. Hell, maybe they’ll try him at 3rd. That platoon will be horrid in the field. Expect to see Janish there in the late innings.

  2. Martin Prado is right there with Murph, Chipper, Smoltzie as one of my favorite Braves. But the arbitration thing ticked him off and had he repeated his 2012, he would be looking for 10million a year and I’m not sure he’s worth that. we may have lost him with nothing in return.

    Our outfield is full of 3 dudes who should hit .260 to .280 with 23 to 28 hr ea and 80 to 90 rbi ea. That’s awesome. all 3 should steal over 20 bases. But, they will strike out 120 plus times each.

    Our lineup will score runs. the key is Andy Simmons. will he thrive as a leadoff hitter? will Uggla play with less pressure on him. will McCann go nuts offensively knowing this is his walk year?

    I love this trade but I will miss martin.

  3. I am not upset about the trade necessarily. I think Wren improved the team. However, I would rather have seen anyone go than Prado I think. He is a great guy, a great teammate, and a great player. He will be missed.

  4. pepefreeus // January 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm //

    I think this (along with the departures of McCann, Maholm and Hudson) probably helps clear the way for us to have the money to sign Heyward and Freeman long term.

    I’m glad we didn’t lose Gilmartin. I thought he was a goner and, as much as he’s struggled of late, I still think Julio has more upside than Delgado.

    This will be the best outfield we’ve had since the Gant-Justce-Nixon-Sanders days. I’m excited as hell.

  5. I hate to see Prado go as well, but the reality was we traded 1 season of Prado for 3 season of Upton. Yes, we will have some games where a mediocre pitcher racks up 15 k’s, but I think over the course of 162 games, we will be a better team than before the trade.

  6. I’m hurt… Almost she’d tears. You don’t trade a guy like Prado. Leader, class act, head is in the game at ALL times, and gets the job done WELL on a daily basis – base running, bunting, fielding, hitting the cut off man, sac fly’s, ground balls to the right side to advance runners, humble, hard working, and in my eyes, one of the top 5 hitters in baseball

    Good luck, Martin.

  7. rankin' rob // January 25, 2013 at 10:21 am //

    It’s not like we had any postseason success with him.

  8. Well, the more I read about the backdrop to this trade, the more I like and think that the DBacks are a bunch of dopes. Apparently, Kirk Gibson didn’t think Justin Upton was gritty enough.

    Well, to my line of thinking, another player who wouldn’t have passed the Kirk Gibson “grit” test was Henry Aaron. After Aaron broke an ankle sliding into third late in his rookie year, he realized that the Braves needed him in the lineup every day a lot more than they needed that extra base. So Aaron decided to take no more foolish risks, never visited the disabled list over the rest of his career and retired with pretty much all the game’s lifetime power-hitting records.

    Gibson, on the other hand, was a better athlete than Aaron, 6-3, 215, fast and gifted enough to be an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State. But as a baseball player, he was always hurt, playing in more than 130 games only four times during his 17-year career. Forget the pinch-hit homer off Eckersley in the World Series, over the course of his career, he fell woefully short of his awesome potential. But hey, he always showed “grit.”

    Apparently Justin Upton demonstrated his lack of grit by not dealing well with a thumb injury. The thing about thumb and wrist injuries for baseball hitters is that they prevent them from gripping the bat correctly. And a hitter who can’t grip a bat is a hitter who can’t hit. You know, the talent for which he’s handsomely paid. But since a guy with a thumb injury is ambulatory, he’s expected to show his “grit” by playing every day, continually aggravating the injury and sucking the whole time. You know, pretty much like Gibson did throughout most of his career.

    Me? I’d rather see a dangerous hitter healthy and in the lineup than worry about his ability to pass some bonehead’s macho purity ritual. Not liking Justin Upton’s “demeanor” is perilously close to not liking him because he dares to have the demeanor of a proud black man.

  9. pepefreeus // January 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm //

    I’m with Tokyokie here. Several other people have noticed the same thing.

    3-4 years from now, when Gibson’s been fired and Justin is picking up his NL MVP triophy, DBacks fans are going to be trying to remember why this trade was made in the first place.

  10. roadrunner48 // January 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm //

    Yup, Tokyokie nailed it.

    I still hate losing Martin but it wasn’t as if they were going to take Uggla in his place.

  11. Good points Tokyokie. Still not a big fan of the trade but it’s something to get used to. The voluminous Ks that the Uptons will rack up can be countered by their power numbers, high steal percentage, and defense. Our new third base platoon really concerns me, because of their shaky defense as well as the low walk and high strikeout totals.

  12. clete, I’d much rather have Prado at third this season than whatever we’re going to roll out there, but it didn’t look we were going to sign Prado long term (thanks, Liberty Media), and that being the case, getting JUp for him strikes me as a good deal. The deal means the Braves should have the game’s best outfield for the next several years, and I don’t think any of those other guys we moved are irreplaceable.

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