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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Articles tagged: B.J. Upton

Melvin Upton Jr. says he will go by BJ again this season

Melvin Upton

Melvin Upton Jr. intends to continue playing in 2019 despite not making an MLB roster last year, and the veteran outfielder may have a clever why of trying to convince teams he has turned back the clock.

If you followed Upton during the best years of his career, you know that he used to go by the nickname B.J. when he was smashing home runs with the Tampa Bay Rays. On Tuesday, Upton announced he is going back to the name he embraced during his prime.

Upton has not appeared in an MLB game since 2016, when he hit .238 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI in time split between the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres. He played in some Triple-A games with the San Francisco Giants in 2017 and was with the Cleveland Indians in spring training last year but did not make the final roster.

The nickname B.J. stands for “Bossman Junior,” and Upton was known as B.J. because his father, Melvin Upton, went by the nickname “Bossman.” The odds of Upton being signed this offseason seem slim, so perhaps the 34-year-old is hoping he has a better chance as B.J. than he would as Melvin. Though, he insisted his last name change had nothing to do with his performance on the diamond.

Melvin Upton Jr. reportedly drawing little interest from Tigers, Giants

Melvin Upton

The Toronto Blue Jays elected to release outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., and it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of immediate interest in his services.

The Detroit Tigers are one team who could see the need for another outfielder, and while general manager Al Avila said the team would look into Upton, it doesn’t sound like they’re going to push hard for him.

Another team short on outfielders, the San Francisco Giants, also reportedly won’t pursue him.

The Blue Jays wanted to trade Upton before they released him. Given the lack of interest now, it’s pretty clear why they failed to do so.

H/T MLB Trade Rumors

Report: Blue Jays open to trading Melvin Upton Jr.

Melvin Upton

The Toronto Blue Jays are open to trading outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., according to a report.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Jays are listening to offers on Upton, who is currently slated as Toronto’s left fielder entering the season.

Toronto has a few options in left, which makes them open to trading Upton. They can go with Ezequiel Carrera or Dalton Pompey instead of Upton.

The Jays acquired Upton in a trade from San Diego last season. Though he batted .256 with 16 home runs for the Padres, Upton slipped to hitting .196 with only four dingers with the Jays.

Toronto only owes Upton $5 million of the $16.45 million he is set to earn this season. The Giants and his original team, Tampa Bay, are cited as potential fits.

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades involving Melvin Upton, Andrew Cashner

melvin-upton

The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly in the hunt for two players the San Diego Padres have put on the trade block.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Orioles are engaged in discussions with the Padres over outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and pitcher Andrew Cashner.

The Blue Jays are also reportedly in on both players, though San Diego is trying to use them to get a better return out of Baltimore.

On Friday night, it was also reported that the Orioles were trying to include pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in the deal.

It’s quite clear that Baltimore is looking for a starting pitcher, though their interest in Upton is intriguing. Injuries in their outfield have created a need, and they may be willing to take on Upton’s hefty contract if they can offload Jimenez’s. It sounds like Upton has his share of suitors, and his career renaissance is making him an attractive trade chip with just over a week to go before the deadline.

Padres GM says Melvin Upton Jr. attracting trade interest

melvin-upton

Melvin Upton Jr. has surprisingly resuscitated his career in 2016 to the point where he’s attracting trade interest from other teams.

According to Padres general manager A.J. Preller, teams view Upton as a potential 30 homer-30 steal player.

Upton’s career appeared to be slipping away not long ago, as he hit just .198 during two ill-fated seasons in Atlanta. Since being traded to San Diego as little more than a contract to sweeten the Craig Kimbrel deal, however, he’s been closer to the player he was in Tampa Bay. He’s homered 16 times and stolen 20 bases in 2016, and could actually be a useful addition for someone, though he is owed over $16 million next season.

Upton may not be the only slugger leaving San Diego after a disappointing season.

Braves trade Craig Kimbrel, BJ Upton to Padres

Craig-Kimbrel

The Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres completed a blockbuster trade just hours before the official start of the 2015 MLB season.

The Braves are sending All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder B.J. Upton — who now prefers to go by a different name — to San Diego in exchange for Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and prospects Matt Wisler and Jordan Paroubeck. The Braves will also get the 41st pick in the upcoming MLB draft.

Kimbrel, 26, is widely considered to be the best closer in baseball. He has saved 42 or more games in each of the last four seasons and been named a National League All-Star each season. He is one of just three relief pitchers in Major League History to post four straight 40-save seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info. No pitcher has ever done it in five consecutive seasons.

Upton, who is owed roughly $15 million per season over the next three years, has been shockingly horrendous since the Braves signed him in 2013. His batting average over the past two seasons is .196. Atlanta likely forced the Padres to take on Upton’s salary if they wanted Kimbrel.

If you’re wondering why the Braves would make such a deal, you’re not alone. However, Wisler is considered one of the better prospects in baseball. He’s a right-handed pitcher who posted a 10-5 record in Double-A and Triple-A last season. Wisler is considered the big prize for Atlanta in this deal, while the Padres are clearly better off for it in the short term.

B.J. Upton: Name change has ‘nothing to do with starting a new chapter’

BJ-Upton

Atlanta Braves outfielder B.J. Upton — excuse me, Melvin Upton Jr. — will be looking to turn over a new leaf when the 2015 season begins. That is not why he is ditching the name B.J.

Over the weekend, Upton announced that he would like to be referred to as Melvin Upton Jr. going forward. Melvin is B.J.’s birth name. His father’s nickname is “Bossman” and Upton got his nickname when people started referring to him as “Bossman Junior.”

When the 30-year-old reported to training camp on Monday, he insisted his name change has nothing to do with his abysmal 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“This has nothing to do with starting a new chapter,” Upton told Mark Bowman of MLB.com. “I just wanted to. My father thought enough to give me his name, so why not? It was the name that was given to me as a kid, so I felt I wanted to go by my real name.”

Plus, Upton says B.J. is more of a baseball name, anyway.

“Most of my friends call me Mel or Melvin,” he said. “Nobody really calls me B.J., except at the stadium.

“Call me what you want, it doesn’t matter to me. Obviously, the people I’ve known my whole life and the people I’ve grown to know, I don’t care [which name they use]. But for the general public, my real name is Melvin and that is [how] I want to be referred to.”

As we mentioned before, plenty of athletes have tried to ditch their nicknames (here’s one example) in an attempt to change their image. While Upton doesn’t exactly need image repair, he is hoping to fix the .196 batting average he has toted since signing with the Braves in 2013. Perhaps Melvin will remember how to hit a baseball.