Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles have expressed interest in Padres outfielder Justin Upton. Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, added that they’ve also inquired on Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.
While the Orioles have gotten terrific production out of Adam Jones in center field, they’ve gotten very little from the corners. They have been using Chris Davis in right field while Nolan Reimold, David Lough, and Travis Snider have shared time in left. The Orioles’ aggregate .628 OPS out of left field is third-worst in the American League, though their Davis-inspired .760 OPS is seventh-best.
Upton, 27, can become a free agent after the season and is owed only the remainder of his $14.5 million salary for the 2015 season. He exited Sunday’s game with tightness in his lower back, per MLB.com’s Corey Brock, but it sounds like a minor issue. He entered play Sunday batting .252/.331/.426 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.
Gomez, 29, is signed through 2016. He’s owed the remainder of $8 million for this season and $9 million next season. He entered play Sunday hitting .267/.322/.439 with eight home runs and 41 RBI.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.