The Atlanta Braves traded four young players along with third baseman Martin Prado to acquire outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson.
A quick look at each of the youngsters:
RHP Randall Delgado: The pitcher whom the Chicago Cubs wanted to acquire for two months of right-hander Ryan Dempster last season before a proposed deal collapsed.
Delgado, who turns 23 on Feb. 9, throws a power sinker in the mid-90s and also boasts an outstanding changeup. He could become a No. 3 or 4 starter who chews up innings, or a valuable contributor out of the bullpen.
The Braves named Delgado their fifth starter to open the season in 2012, and he will compete for the same role with the Diamondbacks in spring training.
SS Nick Ahmed: The Braves only traded him because Andrelton Simmons is their long-term solution at shortstop. Otherwise, Ahmed – a second-round pick out of Connecticut in 2011 - might have taken over the position by ’14.
Some teams like Ahmed better than Didi Gregorius, another shortstop whom the Diamondbacks acquired this offseason. Ahmed is an outstanding defender with speed, and might prove a better hitter than Gregorius.
The Detroit Tigers, one of the teams that like Ahmed, wanted him as part of a package for right-hander Rick Porcello, according to major-league sources. Those conversations would have expanded the Upton deal to a three-team trade.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, however, all but dismissed the idea of acquiring Porcello on Thursday, saying the team no longer was looking for starting pitching after acquiring Delgado.
RHP Zeke Spruill: Spruill, a second-round pick in 2008, was the Braves’ No. 9 prospect according to Baseball America. Braves people compared Spruill, 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, to a young Derek Lowe.
Towers and manager Kirk Gibson saw Spruill pitch in the Arizona Fall League, and evidently liked what they saw. Spruill throws a heavy sinker in the mid-90s.
1B/3B Brandon Drury: A 13th-round pick in 2010, Drury won the Appalachian League batting title in ’11, but batted only .229 with a .603 OPS at Class A Rome last season.
The Braves believed that Drury profiles better at first than third, and as with Ahmed, loved his makeup. Drury is from Grants Pass, Ore., not far from Towers’ hometown of Medford, Ore. He is close with Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.