TEMPE, Ariz. — The Los Angeles Angels have designated Justin Upton for assignment despite owing the slugging outfielder $19.5 million this season.
The Angels will still be responsible for Upton’s salary unless he’s claimed by another team, which seems unlikely. The 34-year-old Upton hit .211 with 17 homers, 41 RBIs and a .705 OPS over 89 games last season.
Upton is in the final season of a $106 million, five-year deal he signed to stay in Los Angeles a few months after being acquired from Detroit via trade during the 2017 season.
A four-time All-Star, Upton was among the game’s promising young stars when he broke into the majors as a 19-year-old with Arizona in 2007. He has 324 home runs and 1,000 RBIs over 15 major league seasons.
Assuming Upton clears waivers, he’s likely to refuse a minor league assignment and become a free agent.