MLB notebook: Arizona sends Upton to Braves in 7-player deal
Arizona has traded outfielder Justin Upton to the Braves in a seven-player deal that sends former All-Star infielder Martin Prado to the Diamondbacks.
The Braves also get third baseman Chris Johnson. Atlanta is giving up four minor leaguers in the deal, including top pitching prospect Randy Delgado. The other minor leaguers headed to Arizona are right-hander Zeke Spruill, shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Brandon Drury. Prado, projected to play third base for the Diamondbacks, can become a free agent after this season.
Upton, who has five-plus major league seasons but still is just 25 years old, will join older brother B.J. Upton, who recently signed a free-agent contract with Atlanta. The younger Upton, who has three years and $38.5 million left on his contract, had been the subject of trade speculation throughout the offseason and vetoed a trade to the Seattle Mariners.
Prado made the All-Star team in 2010 as a second baseman and played mostly in left field last season. A versatile infielder, Prado was projected to move to third base for the Braves this season to replace the retired Chipper Jones.
Martinez back to BoSox
Former Boston manager Terry Francona gave Pedro Martinez a big hug along with some advice to help him in his new job as a special assistant to the Red Sox general manager.
“Now he's going to have to be on time,” Francona needled his former pitcher on Thursday when the two were reunited at the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star who spent seven seasons in Boston, Martinez returned to the city where he had his best years. His role is still undefined, but Martinez said he would be willing to help with the pitchers, work in the minor leagues and generally be a friend to GM Ben Cherington.
Thousands attend Musial viewing
The entrance to the Cathedral Basilica looked more like that of a Cardinals game on Thursday, just the way Stan Musial would have liked it.
Thousands of fans turned out for Musial's public visitation at the ornate Roman Catholic church, many of them bundled up against the bitter cold in red Cardinals jackets. Musial, a 24-time All-Star who remained a beloved figure in his adopted hometown a half-century after his playing career ended, died Saturday after years of declining health. He was 92.
White Sox acquire Stewart
The White Sox said they acquired right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart off waivers from the Pirates.
Stewart was 1-4 with an 8.58 ERA in 20 games last season for the White Sox and Boston. He was traded to the Red Sox with infielder Brent Lillibridge on June 24 in exchange for third baseman Kevin Youkilis. He was traded to the Pirates in November and designated for assignment Jan. 17.
Reds bring Hamilton to camp
Billy Hamilton is ready to show the major leagues that he can steal a base anywhere.
The Reds have invited the 22-year-old outfielder with freakish speed to spring training. Hamilton set a professional record with 155 steals last season, which he split between Single-A and Double-A. The Reds plan to start him at Triple-A Louisville.