October 3, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton (2) walks up to bat in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Atlanta Braves Sign B.J. Upton

The Atlanta Braves have a deal in place with free agent center fielder B.J. Upton, per multiple reports. Upton’s deal will reportedly be worth $75.25 million over five years and it will trigger the departure of another highly coveted free agent in Michael Bourn. ESPN.com has more on the deal:

Free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton has agreed to a five-year deal worth $75.25 million with the Atlanta Braves, pending a physical, a baseball source told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick on Wednesday.

Upton has spent his entire eight-year career with the Tampa Bay Rays. He batted .246 with 28 home runs, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases last season. He’s averaged .255, 20 homers, 75 RBIs and 39 steals per season.

The Rays just gave third baseman Evan Longoria a six-year contract extension worth $100 million, but the team was in the bottom third of the league in payroll last season and was not expected to be able to afford Upton.

At age 28, Upton still has a lot of quality baseball left in his career. Prior to his departure in free agency, Upton had spent his entire Major League Baseball career as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Upton was a high priority on the Philadelphia Phillies offseason wishlist, but the Braves struck first and were able to sign the prize center fielder.

As for Michael Bourn, the Washington Nationals are considered the favorite to sign the Braves center fielder.


Tags: Atlanta Braves B.J. Upton Tampa Bay Rays

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