Off-Season mission 1 accomplished; B.J. Upton is officially an Atlanta Brave. Frank Wren and the Braves staff wanted to get his signing taken care of before the MLB Winter Meetings and they did just that. As far as deals go, Upton didn’t do too badly. Josh Hamilton and others might bring in more money but money has proven itself not to be everything in MLB contracts. Upton signed as good of a contract as he could for his primed career.
The ink became official Thursday and the Braves fandom breathed a minor sigh of relief. There had been other teams interested in Upton but as was alluded to here on RantSports.com, as soon as he met with the Braves management and saw firsthand the kind of organization it was, he was sure to choose them. In the way of money while it might not be the largest contract signed during the MLB offseason, it certainly is a large one for the Braves. Its the largest since Derek Lowe was paid a good little sum a few years ago. Nothing against D. Lowe but this money will be better spent in the long run.
The five year deal is worth a little over $75 Million. With that sum the Braves will likely want him to inch his batting average a little closer to the .275 mark but considering his power and OPS numbers are good and his stealing ability remains steady, they might settle for the .250 mark as long as he brings his clutch hitting with him to the big A. The Braves still have some work to do this off-season. Upton makes two-thirds of the outfield a solid, if not gold glove fielding quality and an offensive force as well. If General Manager Frank Wren can land another outfielder with these tools the Braves are going to be a force to reckon with come April.