Will Venable was already under team control through 2015, but Corey Brock of MLB.com reports the Padres have signed the outfielder to a two-year, $8.5 million deal that buys out his final two seasons of arbitration eligibility.
Venable didn’t debut until age 25 and didn’t become a regular until age 27, so he’s old for a player with his level of service time. Which is why it wouldn’t have made much sense for the Padres to go past two more seasons with a good but not great player who’s already 30.
Venable is having a career-year, hitting .273 with 20 homers, 15 steals, and an .818 OPS in 129 games and this way the Padres get some cost certainty. He’s making $2.68 million this year.
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.