Angels paying Justin Upton $28 million not to play for them
The Los Angeles Angels are making the very expensive decision to move on from a former All-Star.
The Angels designated outfielder Justin Upton for assignment on Saturday, ending his tenure with the team after four-plus seasons. While Upton can be claimed on waivers by any team, nobody is likely willing to take on the $28 million he will be owed in 2022. That means Upton will likely become a free agent, with the Angels on the hook for his salary.
Outfielder Justin Upton has been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels, sources tell ESPN. The Angels will owe him $28 million for this season, the final one in a five-year deal. Unlikely anyone deals for Upton at that price, so likelihood is he'll be a free agent.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 2, 2022
Upton was acquired by the Angels in a 2017 trade with Detroit, and signed a five-year, $106 million extension at the end of the season. While Upton turned in a 30 home run season in 2018, he has struggled with both health and production since, hitting just .211 in 194 total games over the last three campaigns.
Upton will go down as another big-money move the Angels made that simply did not work out as hoped. A lot of the criticism for that has been pointed at owner Arte Moreno, who never seems to learn his lesson about where and when to spend.
Photo: Aug 15, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels left fielder Justin Upton (10) takes the field for the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports