Arizona finalizes $51.5 million deal with Upton

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This afternoon the Diamondbacks officially announced their six-year, $51.5 million deal with Justin Upton. Here are the year-by-year salaries:
Signing Bonus – $1.25 million
2010 – $500,000
2011 – $4.25 million
2012 – $6.75 million
2013 – $9.75 million
2014 – $14.25 million
2015 – $14.5 million
Essentially the Diamondbacks have pre-paid around $21 million for Upton’s three seasons of arbitration and then bought out his first two seasons of free agency for about $30 million.
Obviously handing a 22-year-old over $50 million is plenty risky, but Upton is a truly elite, Hall of Fame-caliber talent and if he continues to develop as expected the ability to pay him $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015 when he would have otherwise been a free agent will be a huge bargain.
In fact, barring a radical change in player salaries, a $14 million paycheck probably won’t even place Upton among the 30 or 40 highest-paid players come 2014/2015.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.