Justin Upton Likely Headed To The Los Angeles Angels
Veteran Tigers outfielder Justin Upton is most likely on his way to the Los Angeles Angels as the two teams come close to finalizing a deal Thursday afternoon. Thursday is the last day in which a traded player can play in the post-season, so the Angels most likely feel it’s imperative the deal be completed by the end of the day.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal was the first to note that a move was in the works.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2017
Currently, Upton, 30, had the option to opt-out of his contract with Detroit at the end of the year and, according to Rosenthal, the option will remain as part of the contract with the Angels. In exchange for Upton, the Tigers will reportedly receive minor league pitcher Grayson Long and a player to be named.
The Angels are 11 games behind the Astros in the AL West and only one game behind the Twins for the second place wild card spot in the American League. Additionally, they only sit two games behind the Yankees for the first place wild card spot. Unfortuanley for Los Angeles, they don’t play either team at any point in the remaining month of the 2017 season.
The trade does come at an opportune time for the Angels though. The Twins’ Byron Buxton was injured recently with a bone contusion in his left hand. By taking Upton off the market, the Angels ensure that their competition can’t improve their line-up in the meantime.
The Angels are also in need of an outfielder after they traded Cameron Maybin to the Astros early Thursday.
Upton has hit for a .279 average this year with the Tigers with a .362 OBP and a .527 slugging percentage. Those numbers would make him the second most productive hitter on the Angels, only behind the ever-spectacualr Mike Trout, who currently touts a .327 average, a .459 OBP, and a .667 slugging percentage.