Found November 28, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
ATLANTA (AP) -- Free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a five-year contract, a person familiar with the deal said Wednesday night.
The deal is expected to be announced Thursday once Upton passes his physical. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
Several media outlets reported the deal is worth 75.25 million, which would be the largest free-agent contract in team history.
Upton, 28, hit .246 with 28 homers, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases for Tampa Bay last season. He will replace free agent Michael Bourn as the Braves' center fielder and provide a needed right-handed power bat for the lineup.
Upton made his debut with Tampa Bay in 2004. His first full season was 2007, when he hit a career-best .300 with 24 homers and 22 stolen bases.
The speedy outfielder's home run totals have increased in each of the last three seasons, but he has hit below .250 with more than 150 strikeouts in four straight years.
Bourn was the Braves' leadoff hitter, but Upton is not expected to fill that role. The Braves might shop for a left fielder to hit leadoff, with Martin Prado expected to move from the outfield to third base following Chipper Jones' retirement.
Young shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who hit .289 with a .335 on-base percentage as a rookie, could be an option to bat leadoff. Prado was the normal No. 2 hitter.
The deal with Upton comes only five days before the start of baseball's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
Upton is an expensive addition, but the big move is not a surprise.
General manager Frank Wren said after the season he would have funds available to make a notable offseason acquisition. Jones had a 14 million base salary last season and Bourn's was 6,845,000.
Wren said he entered the offseason with "a pretty narrow focus" because he only had to replace Bourn and Jones.
"Beyond that, our club is pretty solid," Wren said after the Braves' wild-card playoff loss to St. Louis.
Upton adds to what Wren said is a "dynamic young core" of players. He will join first baseman Freddie Freeman, right fielder Jason Heyward, catcher Brian McCann and second baseman Dan Uggla as power hitters.
McCann's status for the start of the season is uncertain. He had surgery on his right shoulder in October. The rehabilitation could carry into the first month of the season.
Gerald Laird signed a two-year, 3 million deal with Atlanta earlier this month to serve as McCann's backup. Laird, who hit .282 with AL champion Detroit, could open the season as the starter if McCann is not ready.
Upton's agent, Larry Reynolds, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Atlanta Braves never seemed to have much interest in bringing Michael Bourn back. He was fantastic while he was with them, but it's understandable that the club wanted to go younger. And they did yesterday - just not much younger. The Braves signed free agent B.J. Upton, and the eight-year veteran will now be patrolling the Braves' outfield.
According to Dave...
"Photo of the Day: @BJUPTON2 checking out Turner Field as the newest #Braves player after yesterday's press conference." as seen on the Braves twitter feed
@braveslove I almost forgot to ask what is your opinion of upton.And who else should we go after for leadoff
— sean g (@spinnerbuckle) November 29, 2012
Honestly, I don't have an opinion on the BJ Upton...
It happens every off-season, teams get into a frenzied bidding situation for a high profile free agent. Just when we think we know who he is going to sign with- BAM! They strike out of nowhere! The mystery team!!!
You never believe it when they are mentioned in rumors. You scoff and mock the reporter who even suggests their presence. But then, lo and behold, that'...
The Braves wasted little time in making a statement in free agency.
Atlanta has reportedly agreed to a five-year 75.25 million deal with center fielder B.J. Upton, marking the largest free-agent contract in the franchises history.
Upton, 28, had spent his entire major-league career with the Rays. Last season he hit .246 with a career-high 28 home runs, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases...
It’s official: BJ Upton is the newest Atlanta Brave. Having passed a physical this morning, Upton was introduced by the Braves this afternoon as their new center fielder. Upton will wear number 2 for the Atlanta Braves.
The deal signed by Upton is a 5-year, $75.25 million contract.
BJ Upton was the 2nd pick in the 2002 draft and came on the scene with the Tampa Bay Rays in a big...
B.J. Upton is Atlanta bound, but just how close was he to being Boston bound?
Apparently, not close at all. According to WEEI.com, the Red Sox never really engaged in the Upton sweepstakes, and they never even made an offer.
Upton on Wednesday reportedly inked a five-year deal with the Braves worth more than $75 million. He’s now expected to replace Michael Bourn as Atlanta’s...
The Atlanta Braves lost one speedy centerfielder in Michael Bourn to free agency this offseason, but gained another to take his place.
Numerous sources are reporting that former Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton signed with the Braves on Wednesday. Upton’s contract with the team is reportedly worth $75.25 million over five seasons. The 28-year-old was the Braves’ primary...
On Thursday, the Atlanta Braves announced that they had signed center fielder B.J. Upton to a five year, $75.25 million contract.
The Atlanta Braves had plenty of explanations for the move, claiming they wanted a reliable center fielder and that they wanted to add a right-handed bat to their primarily left-handed lineup.
While the Braves can try and justify their sudden spending...
Give a General Manager a blank check, and he'll most likely waste it on a player with hype. The Atlanta Braves and B.J. Upton agreed to a five year $75.25 million contract (pending a physical), skewing the market and all but assuring that Michael Bourn will probably now get the $100 million contract that he is seeking. At the same exact moment, Tinker Bell died. Well played Mr...
The Atlanta Braves and free agent center fielder B.J Upton have agreed to terms, CBSSports Jon Heyman has reported.The 28-year-old Upton is coming off a season in which he batted .246/.298/.454 for the Rays with 28 homers and 31 steals in 37 attempts.
Upton provides the Braves with right-handed power in their lineup. He has hit 70 homers since 2009, ninth among center fielders,...
Well, scratch B.J. Upton off the free agency list.
Upton was given a No. 2 Braves jersey after finalizing a $75.25 million, five-year contract — the biggest ever given a free agent by the franchise. He gets a $3 million signing bonus payable by Dec. 31 and salaries of $12.45 million next season, $13.45 million in 2014, $14.45 million in 2015, $15.45 million in 2016 and $16.45 million...
The Atlanta Braves have made a splash this offseason as they have signed centerfielder B.J. Upton, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Bob Nightengale of USA Today adds that the deal is for five-years and is worth $70mm-$75mm.
Upton hit .246/.298/.446 with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs but struck out a career high 169 times in 573 at bats. He did also steal 31 bases while being caught...
Another day, another NL East team solves their center field problem. Yesterday, the Braves spent $75 million to sign B.J. Upton to a contract that is perfectly fair and should provide them with a quality player going forward. Today, the Nationals spent $21 million — and, to be fair, a solid pitching prospect — and got a similarly valuable player in Denard Span. Advantage,...