As I said this morning, free agency opened up with the end of the World Series, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California didn’t take long to get things going.
Rather than let outfielder Justin Upton opt out into the wider world of free agency, the Angels locked up their midseason trade acquisition to a new five-year contract.
Upton, 30, had four years and $88 million remaining on his deal, so he basically just gets another year and some more money tacked on:
Justin Upton's new contract with #Angels: 5 years and $106 million, tacking on one year and $18M from existing deal
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 2, 2017
And the Angels get a bat to continue pairing with Mike Trout as Albert Pujols’ decline continues and deepens.
The market impact here is not significant, given that, even if Upton had walked, the Angels were going to be going hard after a big-time bat. The fit to simply keep Upton made too much sense.
JD Martinez remains the big outfield bat in free agency, and Giancarlo Stanton is the big outfield bat available in trade. Perhaps this signing reduces the possibility that the big market Angels could be serious players next year for Bryce Harper, if they were ever going to be (it sure feels like that one is going to be a Cubs, Phillies, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers kind of race).
The Cubs don’t figure to be in the market for an outfielder this offseason, and, to the contrary, are more likely to be shopping a position player than acquiring one.