Rays claim Brandon Allen off waivers from A’s

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When the A’s designated Brandon Allen for assignment last week I wrote that based on his minor-league track record plenty of teams would be smart to snag him off waivers.

Sure enough a contending team did just that according to Allen’s agent, who says the first baseman/corner outfielder was claimed by Tampa Bay.

Allen is a flawed player, striking out too much and offering little defensive value, and he’s yet to experience any success in the majors. However, he’s also still just 26 years old and has hit .286 with 59 homers and a .956 OPS in 253 games at Triple-A.

Tampa Bay and manager Joe Maddon are great at mixing and matching spare parts to magnify their usefulness, so it’s a good landing spot for Allen assuming the Rays can find some room for his left-handed bat in the lineup.

B.J. Upton is going by B.J. Upton again

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Outfielder B.J. Upton went by the name B.J., short for Bossman Junior, through the 2014 season. His father Manny was known as Bossman, hence Bossman Junior. Upton decided he wanted to be referred to by his birth name Melvin starting in 2015, saying that everyone except baseball fans knew him by that name. Now, he’s back to B.J., Scott Boeck of USA TODAY Sports reports.

For those keeping score at home, Upton is the artist formerly and currently known as B.J.

Upton, 34, hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He signed a minor league deal with the Indians in December 2017 but was released in the middle of last March and wasn’t able to latch on with another team. It seems unlikely he finds his way back to the majors.