ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have agreed to acquire slugger Justin Upton from the Atlanta Braves, a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the teams had not announced the deal, said the Braves will receive a group of prospects. Among the players discussed were left-hander Max Fried, shortstop Jace Peterson and third baseman Dustin Peterson.
The Padres already made two huge trades in recent days, acquiring slugger Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers and former AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays.
San Diego has landed another of baseball’s top power hitters in Upton, who is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $14.5 million. He had 29 homers and 102 RBIs last season.
The Braves have been rebuilding their roster after failing to make the playoffs last season, with an eye toward the opening of their new suburban stadium in 2017. The Padres are looking for an immediate payoff, having taken huge steps to pump up the major leagues’ worst offense.
The trade for Upton came less than 24 hours after the Padres finalized a five-player trade with the Dodgers. The biggest name in the deal was Kemp, a two-time All-Star whose 182 homers rank fourth in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
San Diego also was finalizing an 11-player, three-team trade that will bring Myers from the Rays. He would likely play center field, flanked by Upton and Kemp, to suddenly give the Padres one of the most dynamic outfielders in the major leagues.
In addition, they still have their three outfielders who got the bulk of the playing time in 2014: Cameron Maybin, Seth Smith and Will Venable. The best option for a deal would appear to be Smith, who hit .266 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs.
The trade of Upton had been expected since the Braves signed outfielder Nick Markakis to a $44 million, four-year deal. Atlanta had already dealt outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals, the team clearly entering a rebuilding stage. Evan Gattis is expected to move from catcher to left field to replace Upton, though Gattis has also been mentioned in trade talks.
Both Upton and Heyward were heading into the final year of their contracts.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.