Justin Upton trade reportedly in ‘finishing’ stages with mystery team
The mystery team is close to landing Justin Upton from the Braves! Go mystery team!
The Braves have already traded Jason Heyward, have considered dealing Evan Gattis, and have been rumored to be at least listening to offers for Justin Upton. Now it appears that listening has turned into something more concrete, as Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports (and Jon Heyman confirms) that the Braves are “finishing” a trade of Upton. There is no report of where Upton is going, however, which means it’s time to play guess the mystery team.
The Padres, Giants, and Mariners have all been linked to Upton to varying degrees this offseason. The Padres just traded for Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, however, which means unless they plan on moving almost all of the rest of their outfielders, there is no room for Upton. The Giants could use Upton, and have finished second or further for every major piece they’ve gone after this winter, except for Jake Peavy, who they re-signed early Friday morning. The Mariners have been loathe to give up the major piece or pieces it would take for just about anyone, not just in this offseason, but all of them, so they would be a surprise. Then again, they haven’t accomplished anything playing it safe, and they desperately need offense.
The Rangers were heavily linked to Upton before he was sent to Atlanta for the 2013 season, and have been mentioned as a possible destination for the outfielder this offseason as well. It could be either the Rangers or the Mariners, if Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel is correct about the destination being an AL West club.
It could be just about anyone, really, as Upton is a rental, but an effective one who batted .267/.348/.478 for a 128 OPS+ in two seasons with the Braves. He’s set to make $14.5 million in the final year of his contract, and is still just 27 years old after eight years in the majors.