Justin Upton signs with Tigers for $133 million
The Detroit Tigers are adding even more beef to an already big-hitting lineup.
The Tigers signed free agent outfielder Justin Upton to a six-year, $132.75 million deal, according to reports. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal says the contract includes an opt out for Upton after his second year.
Upton, 28, was hanging out on the free agent market with interest from many teams, but there was very little chatter about concrete offers he was receiving. There was talk that the Tigers also had interest in Yoenis Cespedes, but apparently they decided to roll with Upton instead.
Upton is a three-time All-Star who has 192 career home runs. He averages 26 dingers and 32 doubles per season, to go along with a .271/.352/.473 career slash line. His defense rates as mediocre to below-average per FanGraphs, but he brings so much offense to the table he is still a valuable asset.
With Upton you know you are getting reliable production from someone who appears to be in the middle of his prime. The Tigers are getting that for around $22 million per season, which is quite reasonable given today’s contracts.
The Tigers will surrender a draft pick for signing Upton, who turned down a qualifying offer from the Padres. Detroit also becomes a very right-handed-heavy lineup with the likes of Miguel Cabrera, JD Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and Cameron Maybin, among others.
Ultimately this is another solid move for the Tigers, but don’t be surprised if Upton’s stay with the franchise is short given his opt-out clause.