The Los Angeles Angels have acquired LF Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for RHP prospect Grayson Long and a player to be named later (PTBNL) or cash considerations.
Just one game out of the AL Wild card, the Angels are thinking that acquiring Upton could be the extra push they need. Also, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times noted that since the start of 2015, Angels left fielders have hit just 27 homers, including just seven this season. Upton\’s 162 game average is 28 homers. Even though he has a big contract, Upton is under contract for four seasons after this year. He can be solid in L.A.
In related news, the Angels awarded their left fielder, a former Tiger, Cameron Maybin to the Houston Astros. Maybin would have been benched with Upton on the team.
Upton, 30, has a .279 batting average, 28 homers, 94 RBIs and 10 steals in 520 Plate Appearances for the Tigers this year. In his 11 year MLB career for the Tigers, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks, Upton has a .269 batting average, 249 homers, 797 RBIs and 134 stolen bases in 6080 Plate Appearances.
The Tigers have been looking to unload lots of salary lately. Former ace Justin Verlander is also on the market, with a $28 million price tag per year. Upton is owed $22 million per year, so trading him is good for the the payroll. The don\’t get too much, but that\’s what hurts about having that big of a contract.
Long, 23, has a 2.69 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 125 strikeouts in 133.2 innings between High-A and AA this year. In his minor league career, Long has 3.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 217 strikeouts in 218.1 innings.
I think this is an even trade. The Tigers get a solid prospect, and unload a lot of salary. On the other hand, the Angels get a good player under team control for a few years. So, everybody wins.