There is a reason these Justin Upton trade rumors refuse to go away. Reason being, Upton is likely to be traded before his Arizona Diamondbacks head to Spring Training. After the Seattle Incident, it would be quite difficult for the team and player to continue on as if nothing happened.

The other main reason for this endless process of teases and innuendos relates back to Arizona GM Kevin Towers, who doesn’t exactly operate within the “cone of silence” many of his contemporaries adopted. Towers has a reputation for being forthcoming with information – at least not running circles and wasting effort on misdirection.

Now it appears a Justin Upton trade draws close once again, with the Atlanta Braves figuring prominently in the discussion?

Of all teams, the Braves stand a terrific chance of replicating the kind of package Seattle offered Arizona before Upton used his no-trade clause to block the deal. With ample pitching depth – much of it big league ready – Atlanta could send any number of its top pitching prospects to replicate the Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor. Mike Minor? Julio Tehran? Randall Delgado? Many different names fit the Snakes bill.

Until, of course, the deal falls through. There is nothing much going ’round other than Buster Olney opening speculating, though that speculation is informed by more concrete information to be sure. Justin Upton fits beautifully into the Braves linep, slotting beside his brother B.J. a stellar outfield already featuring stud Jason Heyward. ZiPS projects a 24 home run year for Upton, with a .275/.355/.470 slash and a .352 wOBA.

The Braves outfield was so good last year that whoever takes over in center and left has their work cut out for them. Justin Upton in left (and Martin Prado to third base full time) is much more appealing that Juan Francisco essentially platooning with Reed Johnson, that much is clear.

More updates as events warrant, or something. This deal has to happen eventually, sooner is always preferably to later. Unless later means “not the dinner hour on the East Coast.” People have things to do, Towers.