Atlanta traded away outfielder Jason Heyward with one season remaining on his contract and now the Braves are apparently looking to do the same with outfielder Justin Upton.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Braves “are very much shopping” the 27-year-old Upton and “are requesting a higher return than they received” for the 25-year-old Heyward, which was Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins from the Cardinals.
Upton is owed $14.5 million for 2015 and is coming off a season in which he hit .270 with 29 homers and an .833 OPS. His defense, however, consistently rates poorly by advanced metrics. Overall he ranked 18th among all MLB outfielders in Wins Above Replacement, sandwiched between Starling Marte of the Pirates and Nelson Cruz of the Orioles.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.