Remember when Justin Upton was going to have to take a one-year deal and go back to the market next offseason?
Neither do I. I remember when people were saying that, but I don’t remember when that was actually a reality.
Hence tonight’s report from USA Today that Upton has signed a six-year deal with the Detroit Tigers. For now, the dollar amount is not in the report, but the implication is that Upton will receive close to $23 million annually.
Given his relative youth (28) and huge right-handed power, Upton is a very attractive player in free agency, even if you accept his potential defensive limitations and notable streakiness. It’s another big player headed to the American League, too, after a stretch where it seemed like every major transaction was happening in the NL.
I can still argue that the Nationals, Mets, Cardinals, and White Sox, at a minimum, make sense for Fowler. I don’t think the Cubs do, absent a silly bargain (not likely) or a trade involving Jorge Soler (also not likely).
UPDATE: Bob Nightengale provides the numbers:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 19, 2016
Sure enough, that’s a little over $22 million per year. And Upton’s getting an early opt-out, just like everyone else these days:
Source: Upton opt-out is after second year. Six years, $132.75M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2016
That’s pretty remarkable when you consider how huge the guarantee is already.