Upton brothers discuss wearing Atlanta uniforms
New center fielder B.J. would welcome chance to play with his younger sibling
ATLANTA -- Over the past few weeks, some Braves fans have discussed the possibility of signing B.J. Upton as a free agent and then acquiring his younger brother, Justin Upton, via a trade with the D-backs.
After signing his five-year, $75 million contract with the Braves on Thursday, the older Upton admits that he and his younger brother have already taken advantage of a few opportunities to discuss the possibility of playing together in Atlanta.
"It's been a big conversation of ours," B.J. Upton said. "Obviously, he's got another three years [before he's a free agent]. Is it a possibility? Yes. Is it going to happen? We don't know. But it's definitely something that we are going to talk about."
When Justin Upton is a free agent at the conclusion of the 2015 season, he could have the chance to play alongside his brother.
Of course, if the D-backs decide that they are truly going to trade Justin Upton over the course of the next couple of weeks, there is a least a chance the Uptons could be united much sooner.
The D-backs have sent signals that Upton could be available via trade twice in the past six months. The club has recently indicated that it will not move him unless it nets a significant return. But with the Winter Meetings beginning in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, there is always a chance things could change yet again.
The Braves would likely be interested in trading for Upton, and they have the kind of young arms -- Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado -- the D-backs are seeking.
But before doing this, the Braves would likely need to remove some payroll by trading pitcher Tommy Hanson or another veteran player.
"To pull those kinds of strings, I'm glad it's not my job to try to make that happen," Braves outfielder Jason Heyward said. "That sounds like it would be a heck of a move for all of that to go down. Nobody would be mad at that. Nobody would be disappointed in that at all."
After working out at Turner Field on Thursday afternoon, Heyward attended the news conference that formally announced B.J. Upton as the newest member of the organization.
With Heyward and Upton, the Braves have a pair of outfielders who are capable of hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases in the same season.
To put that in perspective, there have been just three 30-30 seasons in the history of the Atlanta Braves. Ron Gant joined this club in 1990 and '91. Dale Murphy did so while winning his second consecutive National League MVP Award in 1983.
"Getting B.J. is definitely a good start to the offseason," Heyward said. "We can narrow things down to what we need to do over the next couple of months. But we've got a great start with B.J."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.