The Philadelphia Phillies are viewed as the early favorite
to sign center fielder B.J. Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Baseball officials still see
the Nationals as the favorites for Michael Bourn, while the Phillies are seen
as an early favorite for Upton.
After trading away starters Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino
this summer, the Phillies entered the offseason with several holes in their
outfield. They figured to target outfielders, and specifically a center
fielder, this winter, but it wasn’t known how much the team would be willing to
pay considering their disappointing 2012 season.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. likes to act quickly when it
comes to the offseason so he could pounce on Upton, who’s regarded as one of
the top free agent center fielders available. The 28-year-old, who could cost
$60 million over five years according to Heyman, hit .246/.298/.454 with 29
doubles and 28 home runs last season. He owns a career line of .255/.336/.422.
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