NL MLB Blog, The Catcher’s Mitt: February — the Month of Love…and Ball
February marks the beginning of new hope for baseball teams everywhere. It is the start of spring training, and all teams are undefeated. Anyone can make it to October because everyone is starting over. For many clubs, pitchers and catchers reported Feb. 11. Whether in Florida or Arizona, teams are in camp and preparing to make their run to a World Series.
In the National League, the Atlanta Braves made a splash with the acquisition of Justin Upton and Chris Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It wasn’t just who they got, but who they gave up as well. Top pitching prospects Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill, along with shortstop Nick Ahmen, first baseman Brandon Drury and fan favorite, Martin Prado, were all traded to the Diamondbacks in the blockbuster deal.
Prado is one of the most versatile players in the league. He has played every position besides pitcher and catcher. At 29 years old, Prado was looking for a contract extension and was going to be a free agent after the 2013 season. After the trade, the Diamondbacks signed him to a 4-year, $40 million extension. It will be exciting to see how it plays out. Will the Diamondbacks be stronger and fresher with the crop of young guys? Or will the Braves “win the trade” as brothers BJ Upton and Justin Upton will unite to play on a Major League team together for the first time?
Elsewhere in the NL, Roy Halladay is preparing to rebound from a rough season in 2012 for the Philadelphia Phillies. Last season, Halladay suffered from significant injuries in his lower back, upper back and shoulder. After fellow NL Central teams like the Braves and Washington Nationals have made moves this off season, it will be interesting to see where the Phillies will fit in the standings.
But, that’s the beauty of baseball. You never know what will happen until it happens.