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B.J. Upton expected to sign with new team this week

Nov 25, 2012, 11:41 AM EST

b.j. upton getty Getty Images

Most highly-coveted free agents will wait until the Winter Meetings (held in early December) to begin seriously considering their options. But a few pieces of the offseason puzzle typically fall into place a little early. And this year will apparently be no different.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes in his Sunday column that outfielder B.J. Upton is “looking to make a decision this week” on the multiple offers he’s been presented. The Phillies and Braves have both been aggressive in their pursuits of Upton, and the Nationals, Rangers and Giants have also been loosely linked.

Upton hit just .246 with a .298 OBP in 633 plate appearances this past season for the Rays, but he slugged 28 home runs and stole 31 bases. And that kind of power and speed will always attract great interest.

The 28-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia seems likely to land a five-year deal worth close to $75 million.

  1. raysfan1 - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Best of luck, BJ, it’s been fun.

    • indaburg - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Yeah, I’m gonna miss him. He was really a catalyst for the Rays. As BJ went, so did the Rays.

  2. thebadguyswon - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Here comes Ruben Amaro Jr. doing what he does best.

    • biasedhomer - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Signing one big name free agent in the off season, and ignoring all the other holes?

      • thebadguyswon - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        I’m only referring to spending his owner’s money. He does an outstanding job of that.

  3. cur68 - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    That lousy batting average sure fools a lot of people. Well, here’s hoping he’s out of the AL Beast. See ya, BJ.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Shhh, you can’t question the numbers on here.

      • cur68 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        I did mention his lousy BA. That’s my cover.

      • wlschneider09 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        It’s ok, batting average has been dismissed as irrelevant.

      • paperlions - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Nah, it’s just been relegated to its proper place as a poor metric for offensive production. There isn’t anything BA measures that something else doesn’t measure better.

        The problem with Upton isn’t BA, it is 4 straight years with league average or worse OBP due to low contact rates and low walk rates. His production is still pretty good for a guy providing average CF defense, and he’s been fairly consistent for the last several years, so…you pretty much know what you are getting with him.

      • thebadguyswon - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        Yup…an overpaid centerfielder in years 3 through 5.

  4. dondada10 - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I know it’s a lazy comparison for many reasons, but B.J. Upton is the next Carl Crawford.

    • indaburg - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      You were right with the first half of your sentence.

  5. wj4122 - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Maybe in contract/signing disappointment. but bj has never put up the all around numbers of Crawford did.

  6. loweend56 - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    this have Phillies written allll over it…..the team still will have holes at 3B, LF, RF, C and Bullpen and minor league

  7. phillyfanmatt - Nov 25, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Loweend,
    While I agree with most if your assessment about the phillies holes in their lineup. Can you please explain how the phillies have a hole at the catching position?

  8. tuberippin - Nov 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Please don’t sign with the Phillies. Please, please, PLEASE don’t sign with the Phillies.

    Oh god he’s going to sign with the Phillies isn’t he? ;_;

    • thebadguyswon - Nov 25, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      That or Washington. But I bet Philly outspends Washington.

      • schmedley69 - Nov 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        Maybe if they didn’t give Werth that ridiculous contract they would have more money for a big acquisition.

      • voteforno6 - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM

        The Nats have plenty of money to spend (their owners are loaded). But, they don’t have any glaring needs in the outfield, and they have some good players working their way through the system.

  9. cubs103years - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    I hope he would go to the cubs. That would be fun.

  10. holmesra18 - Nov 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    I wish the braves could find someone to take Dan Uggla off our hands. Hes averaging around a .200 batting average in his 2 years with the braves. We need to resign bourn to keep him from going to the Nats and pick up a power hitting left fielder.

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