The Los Angeles Angels got a nice boost when Shohei Ohtani made his season debut earlier in May. They will have to wait some time longer before getting Justin Upton back.
Upton has been out since suffering a turf toe injury in the team’s final exhibition series before the start of the regular season. He said Saturday that he is doing some throwing and hitting but has a lot of steps to take before he is ready, according to Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher.
Justin Upton said he can run on about 80 percent of his weight in the Alter G treadmill. He is doing some throwing and hitting. He says he has a lot of steps still to take before he’s ready. #Angels
Upton has been on the 60-day injured list since April and has always been expected to be out the first 2-3 months of the season. Based on how many steps he has left to take before a return, he probably will not be back for around a month or so.
Upton, 31, is in his third season with the Angels after being acquired in a mid-season trade in 2017. He has batted .255 with an .820 OPS in 172 games with the team.
The 30-year-old outfielder was acquired by the Angels in a trade last season. They signed him to a 5-year, $108 million contract after the year. He has batted .267 with 26 home runs and an .826 OPS this season — inline with his career averages.
The Angels recalled Jabari Blash in a corresponding move.
Justin Upton left Thursday’s Los Angeles Angels-Tampa Bay Rays game after being hit by a pitch on the hand.
Upton was batting against Chris Archer with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Archer was trying to go inside and nailed Upton around the left hand with a 95 mph fastball.
Upton was bent over cradling his left arm after being hit and received medical attention. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Chris Young, who ran for him at first.
Upton was 1-for-1 with a walk in the game. He’s batting .267 with six doubles and 11 home runs on the season. He’s a middle-of-the-order hitter for the Angels, and any length of absence would hurt the team.
UPDATE: X-rays on his hand were negative, and the Angels say Upton is day-to-day.
“Every team wants you at their price,” he said. “I will say this, and I don’t give a f— if you write it or not: I had a stretch in free agency where, within a week, every team called and offered me a one-year deal. After eight years of pretty good baseball. In my mind, that’s really, really, really sketchy and weird.
“It was somewhere between seven and 10 teams I heard about from my agent,” Upton continued when pressed further. “It’s like, a one-year deal? I feel like I’ve done pretty damn good. Maybe I should shut it down.”
In the full interview, Upton further mentioned how teams would call him and tell him what he didn’t do well in order to justify a lower contract offer. He also discussed why he believes that the free agent-courting process is dead.
The 30-year-old Upton, who reached career-highs with 35 home runs and 109 RBIs last season, did re-sign with the Angels for five years and $106 million at the start of November. But his greater point still remains: teams curiously played extreme hardball with the free agent class this offseason, which led to quality talents like Eric Hosmer and Yu Darvish not signing until February. Meanwhile, others like Jake Arrieta and Mike Moustakas are still looking for employment even now that it is March with Opening Day just a month away.
The frigid market has created some serious bad blood between representatives from both sides, and now Upton is giving us an idea of just how ticked off the players themselves are at this winter’s developments as well.
The Angels had a major need for an ace, and they also needed to add some power this offseason. They may have addressed both by landing Ohtani.
The club will have to figure out what to do with Kole Calhoun (RF), CJ Cron (1B/DH), and Albert Pujols (DH) considering Ohtani will likely want to play right field or DH, but that should be the easy part.
The Angels now look a heck of a lot more like a playoff contender after going just 80-82 last season despite having the best player in baseball on their team. And with Ohtani coming so cheaply, the Angels can probably afford to continue being aggressive in free agency.
The Los Angeles Angels’ August trade for Justin Upton was not for naught.
The Angels and Upton agreed on a one-year extension to his existing contract. Upton was under contract for $88 million over the next four seasons but could have opted out of his deal this offseason. Instead, the Angels gave him a fifth year, so he’s set to earn $105 million over the next five years, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. That gives him an additional $17 million guaranteed.
Upton’s new deal also reportedly contains a full no-trade clause, according to Jon Morosi.
The Angels acquired Upton from the Tigers just before the waiver trade deadline passed in August and sent Grayson Long and Elvin Rodriguez to Detroit in return. Though Upton did fine in his limited action for the Angels, the move did not pay off as the Angels finished 80-82 and didn’t come close to making the playoffs.
Upton, 30, is coming off arguably his best season as a pro. He batted .273 with a .901 OPS, 35 home runs and 109 RBIs.
Angels GM Billy Eppler said Friday that “there is dialogue going on” with Upton and his agent about possible scenarios going forward.
After a 35 home run season, Upton is reportedly likely to opt out, and his next contract will likely net him upwards of $100 million. There appears to be mutual interest between him and the Angels in a long-term stay.
Justin Upton is expected to opt out of his current contract and become a free agent, according to a report.
Upton has four years and $88 million left on his current deal, which he signed as a free agent two years ago. His original deal with Detroit was for six years at over $132 million, but included the opt out after the second year.
Justin Upton hasn’t made public his decision, but it’s increasingly likely he will exercise opt-out and become a free agent. (1/2) @MLB
The Angels acquired Upton in a trade with the Tigers in August. He batted only .244 with the Angels but smashed seven doubles and seven home runs and produced an .884 OPS. His 44 doubles, 35 homers, 109 RBIs and .901 OPS this season were all career-highs, which makes this a good time for the 30-year-old to try and secure another large contract.
The Angels sent two prospects — including a talented Double-A pitcher — to the Tigers to get 27 games out of Upton, and they didn’t even make the playoffs. Now they face the possibility of losing him entirely, though it is possible that they will be the ones to sign him as a free agent.
The Detroit Tigers have been looking to deal Justin Upton, and it appears they have found a suitor.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the Tigers are close to a deal that would send Upton to the Los Angeles Angels, who are willing to trade for the outfielder even though he can potentially opt out of his contract after the season.
It’s unclear if Upton plans to opt out of the deal, as he would have to be certain he can sign a contract that is better than the four years and $88.5 million he has remaining. The former No. 1 overall pick is having one of the best seasons of his career with 28 home runs, 94 RBI and an OPS of .904, so opting out is not out of the question.
At least one other team was reportedly interested in Upton, but he doesn’t make much sense for many teams as a potential rental. The Angels are just one game back in the wild card race, so they must feel Upton could give them a boost and help them get to the postseason.