Mariners sign former All-Star outfielder
The Seattle Mariners have struggled to get above the .500 mark this season, entering Saturday at 17-24 and 8.5 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros. Due to the slow start, Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry DiPoto decided to improve the roster.
The Mariners announced on Saturday that they have signed outfielder Justin Upton to a one-year deal.
We have signed outfielder Justin Upton to a 1-year Major League contract. He will report to extended Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 22, 2022
Upton has played for five teams in his 15 seasons in the majors, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels.
He has been a versatile player throughout his career. In 1,828 MLB games, Upton has hit .262 with 1,748 hits (11th among all active players), including 324 home runs (seventh among all active players) and 1,000 RBI. He also has 151 career stolen bases.
In his most recent season with the Angels in 2021, Upton batted .211 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI in 89 games. The Angels designated Upton for assignment prior to the start of the 2022 season.
At least one other American League team had reportedly shown some interest in signing Upton soon after his release.
Upton is a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award-winner who could provide some pop to a stagnant Mariners offense when he joins the team in Seattle.
The Mariners currently rank 20th in MLB in batting average (.232) and runs scored (155). While the 34-year-old Upton may not be the player he once was, he may have some extra motivation to prove to the Angels that they were wrong to let him go.