Padres clear Melvin Upton to begin a rehab assignment

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Melvin Upton has been on the disabled list all season with a foot injury after being included in the Craig Kimbrel trade between the Braves and Padres purely for salary considerations, but now he’s ready to start playing again.

Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Upton will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A this weekend, noting that it’s expected to be “lengthy” and at least 40-50 at-bats.

Upton, who changed his name from B.J. this year, is in the third season of a five-year, $75 million deal. Atlanta gave up on him after Upton hit just .198 with a .593 OPS and 324 strikeouts in 267 games through the first two years of the contract, looking totally washed up before age 30.

Once healthy he’ll fill a part-time role for the Padres, who’re no doubt just hoping to get some backup-caliber production out of the once-promising center fielder.