The Los Angeles Angels announced a few minutes ago that they and outfielder Justin Upton have reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension. It will keep him under the Angels’ control through 2022 and pay him $106 million.
Upton was already under contract through 2021, paying him $88.5 million, but possessed opt-out rights this offseason. At the end of the regular season it was reported that he was considering exercising that opt-out. That may or may not have been a negotiating tactic, but if he did opt-out he would’ve had to land a deal paying him in excess of $22 million per year, which was no sure thing.
Not that he isn’t taking a bit of a paycut, at least up front. The deal is restructured to pay him $16 million in 2018, $18 million in 2019, $21 million in 2020, $23 million in 2021 and $28M in 2022. The backloading aside, it’s the equivalent of adding one year and $17.5 million on to his existing deal, but gives the Angels more financial flexibility up front.
Upton posted career-highs in home runs (35), RBI (109), and OPS (.901) this season between the Tigers and Angels, batting .273/.361/.540. In Anaheim specifically, he hit .245/.357/.531 with seven homers in 27 games.
Here’s the Angels’ announcement:
And Upton’s response:
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.