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Angels and Justin Upton agree on a five-year, $106 million contract extension

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The Los Angeles Angels announced a few minutes ago that they and outfielder Justin Upton have reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension. It will keep him under the Angels’ control through 2022 and pay him $106 million.

Upton was already under contract through 2021, paying him $88.5 million, but possessed opt-out rights this offseason. At the end of the regular season it was reported that he was considering exercising that opt-out. That may or may not have been a negotiating tactic, but if he did opt-out he would’ve had to land a deal paying him in excess of $22 million per year, which was no sure thing.

Not that he isn’t taking a bit of a paycut, at least up front. The deal is restructured to pay him $16 million in 2018, $18 million in 2019, $21 million in 2020, $23 million in 2021 and $28M in 2022. The backloading aside, it’s the equivalent of adding one year and $17.5 million on to his existing deal, but gives the Angels more financial flexibility up front.

Upton posted career-highs in home runs (35), RBI (109), and OPS (.901) this season between the Tigers and Angels, batting .273/.361/.540. In Anaheim specifically, he hit .245/.357/.531 with seven homers in 27 games.

Here’s the Angels’ announcement:

And Upton’s response:

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.