Braves sign B. J. Upton
The Atlanta Braves signed center fielder B. J. Upton to a five-year contract on Wednesday evening. The deal is reportedly worth $75 million and is pending a physical.
The 28-year-old outfielder has spent his entire career with the Tampa Bay Rays, but had courted attention from multiple teams this off-season, including the Philadelphia Phillies, according to USA Today.
In 2012, Upton batted .246 for Tampa Bay with a career-best 28 home runs, 31 stolen bases, and 78 RBIs. According to MLB.com, Upton’s home run total has increased over each of the past five years, with the eight-year veteran also stealing at least 31 bases in each year over that span.
Upton has also been remarkably durable over his career, playing in at least 129 games every season since 2007. Over his career, Upton has hit .255 with a .336 on-base percentage and totaled up 232 stolen bases.
The Braves’ signing almost certainly eliminates any chance that center fielder Michael Bourn will return to the team, with USA Today indicating that the Washington Nationals are now the favorites to sign Bourn.