Padres acquire OF Justin Upton from Atlanta Braves
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced that they have acquired outfielder Justin Upton and right-handed pitcher Aaron Northcraft from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for left-handed pitcher Max Fried, infielder Dustin Peterson, infielder Jace Peterson and outfielder Mallex Smith as well as international bonus compensation. Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller made the announcement.
Upton, 27, hit .270 with 34 doubles, two triples, 29 home runs, 102 RBI and 77 runs scored in 154 games for the Braves in 2014. Since the start of the 2009 season, the two-time National League All-Star (2009, 2011) and Silver Slugger Award winner (2011, 2014) ranks fourth among NL players with 1,587 total bases, tied for fifth with 147 home runs and seventh with 482 RBI. In 46 career games at Petco Park, Upton has hit 10 home runs, tied for the highest total by any visiting player in the ballpark's history. The 6-2, 205 pound outfielder owns a lifetime .274 batting average with 208 doubles, 32 triples, 164 home runs and 535 RBI in 1,034 games over parts of eight Major League seasons for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-12) and Braves (2013-14). The first-round draft selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 Draft, Upton will be the eighth former number one draft selection to appear with the Padres, joining Mike Ivie (1970), Dave Roberts (1972), Bill Almon (1974), Shawn Abner (1984), Andy Benes (1988), Phil Nevin (1992) and Adrian Gonzalez (2000).
Northcraft, 24 pitched to a combined 7-10 record with a 4.70 ERA (68 ER, 130.1 IP) with 113 strikeouts against 55 walks in 26 games, 24 starts, between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett in 2014. The right-hander owns a lifetime 40-43 record with a 3.91 ERA and 559 strikeouts against 245 walks over 127 games, 118 starts, over parts of six minor league seasons. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Northcraft was the 10th-round draft choice of the Braves in 2009 out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif.
Fried, 20, pitched to a combined 0-1 record with a 5.06 ERA (6 ER, 10.2 IP) and 10 strikeouts against five walks in five games, all starts, between the Rookie-level Arizona League Padres and Single-A Fort Wayne. A first-round draft selection (seventh overall) by the Padres in 2012, he underwent Tommy John Surgery his left elbow on August 20, 2014. The Encino, Calif., native owns a lifetime 6-9 record with a 3.61 ERA and 127 strikeouts against 67 walks in 38 games, 37 starts, over parts of three professional seasons.
Dustin Peterson, 20, hit .233 with 31 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 79 RBI and 64 runs scored in 126 games for Single-A Fort Wayne in 2014. The second-round draft choice of the Padres in the 2013 draft out of Gilbert High School (Ariz.), the 6-2, 180 pound infielder has hit .247 with 39 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 97 RBI in 164 games over parts of two minor league seasons.
Jace Peterson, 24, split the 2014 season between Double-A San Antonio, Triple-A El Paso and San Diego, hitting a combined .307 with 24 doubles, six triples, three home runs, 46 RBI and 54 runs scored in 86 minor league games compared to a .113 average with three runs scored and two stolen bases in 27 games for the Padres in what was his first Major League stint. A native of Lake Charles, La., the infielder has posted a career .287 batting average with 73 doubles, 33 triples, 14 home runs, 187 RBI and 258 runs scored in 389 games over parts of four minor league seasons since being selected by the Padres in Comp Round A (58th overall) of the 2011 Draft.
Smith, 21, hit a combined .310 with 29 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 31 RBI, 88 stolen bases and 99 runs scored in 120 games in 2014 between Single-A Fort Wayne and Advanced-A Lake Elsinore. The left-handed hitting outfielder was voted by fans on MiLB.com as the 2014 Minor League Baseball Offensive Player of the Year after he led the minors in stolen bases (second place, 69). A native of Tallahassee, Fla., Smith owns a lifetime .290 batting average with 48 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs, 75 RBI and 169 stolen bases in 1,217 games over parts of three minor league seasons since being selected by the Padres in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft.