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The Phillies have talked to B.J. Upton’s agent

Nov 8, 2012, 9:35 PM EDT

B.J. Upton AP AP

There isn’t a lot going on at the General Manager Meetings from a transaction perspective, but many teams are laying the groundwork for possible signings and trades down the road. With that in mind, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com was told by a source that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has spoken with B.J. Upton‘s agent, Larry Reynolds.

Frankly, it would probably be a bigger surprise if Amaro didn’t talk to Reynolds this week. Upton has been connected to the Phillies for awhile now and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently pegged the club as the favorites to land him. Salisbury is hearing similar things, as a number of executives expect the Phillies to be a major player while one said signing Upton is the team’s priority.

Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn figure to get more money among free agent outfielders, but Upton will still be quite pricey. In fact, Salisbury writes that one executive from a team “that has probed the outfield market” has predicted that Upton will start out by asking for a seven-year deal worth between $13-16 million per season. That would put him in the range of $91-112 million, which is obviously bonkers. The same executive believes he’ll eventually settle for five guaranteed years with an option for a sixth.

Upton, 28, is a .255/.336/.422 hitter over his first eight seasons in the big leagues. He clubbed a career-high 28 home runs this season and was 31-for-37 in stolen base attempts.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    255 hitter worth 100 mil…that’s just insane…wow can’t even begin to think where if your an average to good player teams will pay you that much…

    • raysfan1 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      .240 hitter the last 4 years. Good defensive center fielder though.

  2. seanemac75 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    This is becoming disturbing that mediocrity get rewarded with big contracts. If Ruben does the deal, it would be mistake.

  3. rickhigginshtbro - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    toss up… power/speed/glove… can we get the average up with our coaches? only way he’d be worth 5/65… and, what if, mayberry/brown finally break out?

    • raysfan1 - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      Wouldn’t count on the average increasing. He’s been a very consistent .240 guy ever since returning from a shoulder injury 4 years ago.

  4. greymares - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    I quit being concerned about the money 30 yrs.ago nobody deserves more than about a million a year but that being said if that’s the cost and they want him pay it. It’s not my money all i care about is he the best option for the team this year.

  5. dkphilly1122 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Mayberry and Brown Breakout?? That’s not happening or it would have by now or they would have showed signs of it. I agree with the comment above me about as long as I ain’t paying them there millions I could care less as long as they are the best available option for OUR team. I would love to have BJ as our Center fielder next year for the right price and not over paying for him too much.

    • xmatt0926x - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:48 AM

      dk, the “not my money” argument doesn’t work for the Phillies. Their flexibility in adding impact players is hampered by huge deals given to the rest of the ageing and declining players on the team. That wasn’t your money either was it? Yet those deals are putting the Phillies up against the luxury tax and limiting the teams options for improvement, so it does matter, even if it’s not yours or my money.

      • xmatt0926x - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Forgot to make my main point which was that it may not be wise to give a guy like Upton that much money because it will be his inflated monster deal that will stop them 3 years from now when they need to keep adding players. I’m tired of hearing about his “upside”. How many years does it take to see this “upside”? 20-25 bombs with a sub .300 OBP isn’t worth what he’s asking.

      • kruegere - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:23 AM

        I know “clutch” is kind of a stupid thing to try and measure, but Upton rakes in September every year. See also: postseason ’08.

        His inconsistency can definitely be frustrating because you can see the potential there.

      • ryanrockzzz - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:18 AM

        It’s called a TV deal. The Phillies have one of those starting soon, which will give them lots of extra rev’s.

        You don’t want a bad signing, but what are the alternatives? Third base? The Padres aren’t trading the guy who just lead the NL in RBI’s, and the Mets aren’t shipping David Wright to us, that would be crazy.

        Let’s take the OF. Michael Bourn will cost more and is older, with his caught stealing rate on the rise each of the last 2 years. Josh Hamilton will cost more then both of them, and is 31 years old and has all kinds of issues.

        I personally think signing Upton would be a good risk, he has World Series and playoff experience, and he also plays defense, something that was a concern with this team last year.

      • stex52 - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Some of the arguments here seem to be, “Well, he’s a bad deal but the other deals would be worse.” In that case, the best deal is no deal at all.

        Can the Phils really not get .255 with a sub-.800 OPS out of their own system for a lot less money?

  6. muckthefets - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    We already have a guy that rakes in September, see the Phils are looking for a guy that can rake from April, to hopefully through October. Save the occasional drag in production, unless Superman is available, I would assume he’s impervious to slumps.

  7. liamj55 - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Get it done Rube! Trade for his brother as well and we could have the Upton brothers and Ruff in the OF. BOOM!

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