Sometimes the Waiver Trade Deadline Produces Big Moves: Justin Upton to Angels

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Sometimes the Waiver Trade Deadline Produces Big Moves: Justin Upton to Angels

Chicago Cubs

Whoa. That’s a big trade for Waiver Trade Deadline day. Heck, that’s a big trade for any day:

If your immediate thought was like mine, you were wondering how the Angels were comfortable acquiring a guy like Upton, who has an opt-out after this season … not knowing whether he was going to use it or not.


My best guess, then, is that the Angels and Tigers are both fairly confident that Upton will opt out, and the trade is being made with that in mind. (Consider that after he’s traded, if Upton opts out, he can no longer be made a qualifying offer after the season, making it all the more likely he would opt out.)

Upton is owed a little over $88 million over the next four years. At age 30, hitting .279/.362/.542 (138 wRC+) this year, and posting a 4.1 WAR so far, yeah, he can probably get a better contract than that.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

I doubt this move makes the Tigers any more or less likely to trade Justin Verlander today – they are willing to move him whenever the right deal comes along – so I wouldn’t say there’s a big impact there. They may trade him today, they may pick things back up in the offseason. It simply depends on how the discussions go.

As for the deal, itself, how about that AL Wild Card race?

There are eight(!!!) teams within striking distance of a Wild Card spot. The Yankees have a one-game lead over the Twins for the top spot, and those Twins have a one-game lead over the now-improved Angels. And then there are five more teams within three games of the Angels. It’s a mad house!!!

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.