UPDATE: Arizona, Upton reach five-year deal

Leave a comment

UPDATE: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says the six-year deal is worth exactly $51.25 million.
1:40pm: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing Justin Upton to a long-term contract worth around $50 million.
From the wording of Rosenthal’s report it sounds like the deal covers six years, including this season, so the Diamondbacks are locking him up through 2015. Upton was already under the team’s control through 2013, so the new deal would buy out his three arbitration-eligible seasons and his first two years of free agency while still allowing him to hit the open market in his twenties.
Signing any 22-year-old to a $50 million contract obviously carries considerable risk, but Upton is truly on a Hall of Fame path so far and just hit .300/.366/.532 with 26 homers and 20 steals in his first full season. That works out to an .899 OPS, which is the 15th-best mark in the history of baseball for a 21-year-old. Here’s the complete list of guys who topped an .899 OPS at that age:
Ted Williams
Hank Aaron
Joe DiMaggio
Albert Pujols
Ken Griffey Jr.
Frank Robinson
Jimmie Foxx
Al Kaline
Mel Ott
Eddie Mathews
Sam Crawford
Cesar Cedeno
Joe Jackson
Hal Trosky
That list is the epitome of great company and barring an injury his asking price on a long-term deal was only going to rise, so the Diamondbacks were smart to take the risk now and of course guaranteeing himself $50 million no matter what happens makes for a pretty good day for Upton too.

Angels acquire Jabari Blash from the Yankees

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Yankees announced on Wednesday that the club traded outfielder Jabari Blash to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Blash, 28, was acquired by the Yankees from the Padres back in December in the Chase Headley trade. In trading Blash to the Angels, the Yankees were able to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Brandon Drury, the infielder they acquired as part of a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Rays on Tuesday.

Over parts of two seasons in the majors, Blash has hit an underwhelming .200/.323/.336 in 279 plate appearances. He will try to play his way into a bench role for the Angels this spring.