Analysis

Upton Headed to Atlanta on 5-Year Deal

Upton is on his way to the Braves. (MLB)

The Braves scored one of the biggest names on the free agent market, nabbing BJ Upton, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, and others. He’s the first shoe to drop and marks the unofficial start of free agency.

Upton, 28, is scheduled to take a physical in Atlanta tomorrow, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Phillies were the runners-up for Upton’s services. They’re still looking for a centerfielder, and now Michael Bourn is definitely on the market as the Braves have gone elsewhere. Also still available are Josh Hamilton and Angel Pagan, among other trade candidates like Dexter Fowler and Denard Span.

Nightengale is reporting that its a five-year deal worth $70 to $75 million.

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0 Comments

  1. john

    November 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    good now get Josh Hamilton, better player anyway !

    • George

      November 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Better injury prone player, with off-field issues, who also isn’t a real good center fielder and should probably be in one of the corner spots.

      • Tom

        November 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

        Plus he’s another LH bat…we need RH power!!

      • EricL

        November 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        Tom, it doesn’t matter what side of the plate a guy bats from unless he has terrible splits.

        Utley, for his career, has been just as good versus LHP as vs RHP. Howard, on the other hand, is basically a platoon player at this point.

        So, saying “WE NEED RIGHTIES” is kind of wrong. It’s better to say “we need guys who can hit LHP well!”

        (I would suggest Shane Victorino. He’s quite the hitter vs. LHP, and is coming off a down season so he should have a little bit of his cost depressed)

  2. BART SHART

    November 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    By NOT signing B.J.Upton, the Phils avoided a big landmine —– over 150 strikeouts and a sub 250 batting average and a sub 300 OBP. The Phils won by losing this one. B.J. is NO bargain whatsoever. Yes, he is a good fielder with decent power. But he is far, far from being what the Phils need to make their offense considerably more potent.

    • brooks

      November 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Bart.
      Braves will regret this deal.

    • Mike C

      November 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Could not agree more. Right now we should be looking for a contact hitter to fill this spot and BJ Upton is not that. Wish him the best of luck in Atlanta, but he wasn’t the right fit here.

      • schmenkman

        November 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

        I can see wanting a GOOD hitter (which Upton is), but I honestly don’t get wanting a contact hitter specifically.

        I think that for some it makes watching the Phillies’ at bats more enjoyable. I suppose making contact at least “looks” like progress, even when in the majority of cases it doesn’t help anything, while striking out looks like a complete failure.

  3. Bruce

    November 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    It makes more sense to me to see if the Phillies can persuade Shane Victorino to accept their contract offer and a virtual guarantee for him to be a everyday CF as in the past. The team would not have to break the bank ( and not worry about a luxury tax) to have a switch hitting offensive player and THREE time gold glove winner (2008,2009 and 2010), This goes with his dynamic speed on the basepaths and his intense desire to win.

    No doubt Victorino is waiting for a call from Amaro. 🙂

    • psujoe

      November 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      I would try to structure a reasonable base salary with fairly lucrative incentives for Vic. Say 2/$20 with a $15 million mutual option(that vests based on performance clauses), $5 million buyout. I’d build in the incentives of $3 or $4 million each year in years 1 and 2.

      • George

        November 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        With seven teams besides the Phils pursuing Victorino, I really doubt he’d sign for 2/$20 M. He probably has offers like that already.

      • psujoe

        November 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        You’re probably right, but I don’t think I’d go 3/$33. Too much of a question if he’s at the end and will continue sliding downward. That’s why a put a high $15 mutual option with a $5 million buyout. If he plays awesome he can takeink. the $5 million and look around for a multy year deal. If he plays just very good he gets $15 and both side make out. OF course all these numbers can be juggle, but 2/$20 with the potential to earn 2/$28($ mil incentives each year) and get a 3rd year is pretty good, IMO.

  4. psujoe

    November 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    5 year $75 million with no option. Throw in the Braves 1st Rd pick. Great job holding out RAJ. IMO, that’s a pretty sizable over patment. No way would I have wanted RAJ to go that high with the 12th pick too boot. If the nationals want to pay even more for Bourne be my guest.

    • rc

      November 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      braves will get a comp pick for Bourn

      • psujoe

        November 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

        Good point. I’d hate to give them our 12, but I would on a reasonable deal(don’t think that is happening).

  5. Jay Floyd

    November 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I definitely think the Phils’ money will be better spent on another player now.

  6. Dr. Dave

    November 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    GLAD to see the Phils DID NOT sign Upton.

    Would love to see Hamilton in red pin stripes!

    THEN, need to sign a RH Bat so split up the lefties for LF.

    Personally, I would trade Howard (for almost nothing). Amaro’s WORST signing. Play Ruf at 1B.

    • Chuck A.

      November 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Ok…so let me get this straight… You want to get rid of Ryan Howard, who, before last season, played the majority of games each season since he came up and has basically been an RBI machine.. and instead sign (and in the process MASSIVELY OVERPAY) an injury-prone drug addict, who, yes, has plenty of power but…..

      Is that right??

      I’m glad your not the GM.

      • EricL

        November 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm

        Hamilton is way way way better than Ryan Howard. And younger. And healthier.

        Since the start of 2010:
        Howard – .256/.339/.483 – OPS+ 120 – 78HR, 280RBI, 428K, 159BB (366 G)
        Hamilton- .313/.370/.583 – OPS+ 146 – 100HR, 322RBI, 350K, 142BB (402 G)

        And Hamilton is a much better fielder at a more premium position and is a better baserunner. At this point in their careers there’s basically nothing that Ryan Howard does that Josh Hamilton doesn’t do better.

  7. Lefty

    November 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I’m glad I read this one wrong. I really thought the Braves were only trying to run the price up on the Phillies. I was wrong, and couldn’t be happier about it.

  8. phil

    November 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I wanted Upton but not at that price. The years are fine though. I was thinking a Jason bay type contract with the same price but another year

  9. Desibrave

    November 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Very interesting to see all of you crying “Sour Grapes”.

    If RAJ signed UPTON for even 80 million all of you would have celebrated by now.

    Well, another season like this Phillies will do a fire sale and start all over again.

    Anyway, Nationals and Braves will be out of reach for the rest of the NL East again next season.

    I hate to see great pitchers like Halladay and Lee suffer with Phillies and for any of those questioning Ryank Howard’s ability you have no knowledge of Baseball.

    Ryan Howard was the greatest hitter in either leagues for the past 4 to 5 years barring last year.

    • psujoe

      November 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Do you consider Upton an upgrade over Bourne?

      Phils had one of the best records in baseball the second half. They’ll be right there with the Braves. Nats will come back to earth a little bit, but will still be tough. With Mets and Marlins running on fumes I could see 3 teams from the east.

    • hk

      November 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      No one’s crying sour grapes. Read all of the comments of the articles that preceded this one and you’ll see there was a 50/50 split on Upton at the right price and no one wanted the Phils to pay him $75M for 5. I think I may have been the biggest supporter of the Phils signing him and I even I stated that I would not want him for $75M for 5.

    • Double Trouble Del

      November 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      As a Phillies fan I’ll take the Braves with Upton and without a real leader like Chipper.

    • EricL

      November 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      I give this troll attempt a D+

      Terrible, but I’ve seen (few) worse.

  10. Brooks

    November 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I am OK with the Braves getting Upton. The possibility of Bourn playing in Philadelphia again is appealing although there would be some controversy over who would lead off. I think its only natural to assume that Bourn would hit first in the lineup but, Cholly has his own agenda and for the most part, its worked well. How about imagining this lineup – what do you think:
    Bourn
    Rollins
    Utley
    Howard
    Ruf
    Victorino
    Ruiz
    Frandsen/Galvis
    Depending on how well/poorly Rollins/Victorino could swap places in the lineup. Depending on his health, the #3 spot could be Ruf’s.
    And who knows what we’ll see from Choochie this year as last years was quite tainted.
    RAJ brought us Doc and Lee. He could land the big fish in Hamilton and that would not be too much a surprise. If he does, look for the Phils to be dominant once again – as long as they remain healthy.

    • hk

      November 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      I am assuming Bourn wants more than Upton. There’s no way I want Bourn if he costs more than $15M per year.

    • Double Trouble Del

      November 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      I am less interested in a 30 year old player who makes his living off of his legs and strikes out without producing the long ball than I would have been in Upton.

    • schmenkman

      November 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I am more confident that Manuel would lead off Bourn without much hesitation, since it would be the first time in many years he’s had a true leadoff hitter.

  11. schmenkman

    November 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    This comes up a lot, but while strikeouts look bad, they don’t matter that much.

  12. Jeff T

    November 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Phew!!!!! Glad we didn’t pay this much AND give up a draft pick for him. Hopefully we go the conservative route and aim for Pagan or Victorino

  13. phil

    November 29, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Michael bourn is the last player I want to see the Phillies sign.

  14. Desibrave

    November 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

    First of all I don’t put Upton and Bourn in the same category. Upton is more of a power hitter 28homers last season with good speed. Whereas Bourn is a true lead off hitter.

    While i agree Braves probably paid more for Upton they had to take the chance as they have some 35Mil coming off of the books and have that cushion to spend for the first time in years.

    Loss of Chipper is going to be tremendous for Braves and they need a leader.

    I still believe RAJ can sign Bourn or an impact player like Hamilton. Just imagine Hamilton and Ryan Howard hitting back to back.

    There is still a lot of work to do for Braves, they need a lead off hitter , I am hoping Shane Victorino type,

  15. RatBastardNJ

    November 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Nice to see RAJ exercising some patience during this free agent season. I have felt in previous seasons that he was very impulsive to buy early which may have caused higher spending. With the previous track record, I fully expected for him to have signed BJ. I also wanted Upton, but am also hesitant at that price.

    I hope he exercises the same judgement/patience in examining Bourn. I am just not sold on him at all. I am a bit more skeptical on Victorino than others, not on the stats, but just a gut instinct. He was becoming painful to watch at the plate over the past year. I am holding out hope for a good trade that brings some youth/speed to the position like a Fowler or Span.

  16. Dave

    November 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    The Phillies need a good hitter. Period. I would not classify someone who has a career batting average of .255 and OBP of .336 and who averages 171 K’s a year over a 162 game season a “good” hitter. The Phillies lost nothing here. 15 million a year for someone like that is embarrassing, but i understand it’s the state of baseball today. Teddy ballgame would be rolling over in his grave.

    • schmenkman

      November 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

      He also adds decent defense and very good baserunning, but on his hitting, I guess it depends on one’s definition of “good”.

      Over the last three years he hasn’t been quite as good as Pence, but he’s been as good Victorino or Pagan, and he’s been better than Span, or Bourjos, or Bourn.

      • Dave

        November 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

        When you say, he hasn’t been as good as Pence, you mean with his fielding? I thought Pence was a lousy outfielder. In fact, I was shocked at how bad he was last year (maybe it was a 1 year anomaly). I can’t believe Upton is worse, but then again I haven’t watched him play every day. By the way, I would like to see the Phillies trade for Span, or Fowler. I like Pagan too. If Pierre wasn’t such a liability on defense, I would have liked to see them keep him. If they trade for someone cheap, they will have money to spend later. But I can’t imagine their farm system is very desirable at the moment. Maybe if they include Brown/Mayberry a bullpen arm and 2 mid level prospects that could get it done.

      • schmenkman

        November 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

        No, when I said he hasn’t been quite as good as Pence, I was referring to hitting. He hasn’t been quite as good a hitter as Pence, but he’s a better overall player, factoring in defense and base running.

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    February 20, 2013 at 1:23 am

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