Mar 2, 2010, 7:03 PM EDT
UPDATE: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says the six-year deal is worth exactly $51.25 million.
1:40pm: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing Justin Upton to a long-term contract worth around $50 million.
From the wording of Rosenthal’s report it sounds like the deal covers six years, including this season, so the Diamondbacks are locking him up through 2015. Upton was already under the team’s control through 2013, so the new deal would buy out his three arbitration-eligible seasons and his first two years of free agency while still allowing him to hit the open market in his twenties.
Signing any 22-year-old to a $50 million contract obviously carries considerable risk, but Upton is truly on a Hall of Fame path so far and just hit .300/.366/.532 with 26 homers and 20 steals in his first full season. That works out to an .899 OPS, which is the 15th-best mark in the history of baseball for a 21-year-old. Here’s the complete list of guys who topped an .899 OPS at that age:
Ken Griffey Jr.
That list is the epitome of great company and barring an injury his asking price on a long-term deal was only going to rise, so the Diamondbacks were smart to take the risk now and of course guaranteeing himself $50 million no matter what happens makes for a pretty good day for Upton too.
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