UPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today updates that the deal is worth $132.75 million over six seasons. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that the deal has an opt-out after the second season, so Upton would have the ability to test free agency again as a 30-year-old.
9:45 p.m. ET: Tigers owner Mike Ilitch strikes again. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Tigers and Upton have agreed to a six-year contract. It’s expected to be north of $125 million, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Anthony Gose was previously expected to be the Tigers’ primary left fielder for 2016, but the lineup looks a lot more imposing with the addition of Upton. The interesting part is that they are all right-handed outside of the switch-hitting Victor Martinez.
9:36 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that the two sides are close to a six-year deal.
9:32 p.m. ET: The Tigers have been mentioned as a possible suitor for free agent Yoenis Cespedes, but another big-name outfielder could be their primary target. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Tigers are in talks with Justin Upton while MLB Network’s Jon Heyman hears that the two sides are “close” to a deal.
Upton was widely-expected to land a deal in excess of $100 million this offseason, but his market has been suspiciously quiet for the most part. Still, he’s just 28 years old, so a team could be paying for his prime seasons. Heyman hears that it is expected to be a long-term deal.
Upton batted .251/.336/.454 with 26 home runs and 81 RBI over 150 games last season with the Padres. He turned down a qualifying offer, so the Tigers would surrender a draft pick to sign him. The Tigers’ first-round pick is protected and the club already gave up their second-round pick to sign right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, so the club will give up their third-rounder for Upton.