Publicly at least most players say they aren’t bothered a ton by trade rumors, but B.J. Upton admitted feeling very relieved yesterday once the afternoon deadline came and went without his leaving Tampa Bay.
In fact, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that Upton “raised his arms and yelled ‘word … I’m still here!'” as the deadline officially passed while he played catch in the outfield.
Here’s what Upton told Mooney about the experience of being on the trading block:
I’m just glad it’s over with. That’s probably the most nerve-wracking two weeks I ever had. I’ve always said I want to be here. I grew up playing with these guys, a lot of good guys on this team, a good organization, so I’m just glad it’s over with and we can move forward and continue to try to win ball games.
Definitely a little bit tougher than I thought it would be. You wake up and that’s the first thing you see is trade talks, and obviously I was in them. Come to the field and that’s all you see all over the place, you guys ask me the same thing every day, so yeah, it was definitely tough. I’m glad it’s over.
Upton went 5-for-52 (.096) in the two weeks leading up to the trade deadline, although certainly he’s had plenty of prolonged slumps in the past without being able to blame trade rumors for shaking him up. And while he’s out of the woods for now, there’s a slim chance he could still be moved before August 31 and the Rays will almost certainly revisit trade talks for Upton during the offseason.