Angels close to trading for Justin Upton, per report

CHICAGO IL- AUGUST 26 Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton runs off the field after the 8th inning during an MLB game between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox

Daniel Bartel Icon Sportswire

By trading Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, they might have landed a future starting pitcher.

This move would make the Angels a more formidable foe if they come to Yankee Stadium for the wild-card game.

The 30-year-old has hit.279/.362/.542 in his second season with the Tigers, good for a 136 OPS+ that would rank second among Angels hitters, behind only Mike Trout.

That's also true because August 31 is the last day a trade can be made that will allow the acquisition to play on the postseason roster. He's still owed $88.5 million over the next four seasons.


Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the deal was close. The caveat: Upton has the ability to opt out of his contract after this season.

The right-handed Long, a former third-round pick, went 8-6 with a 2.52 ERA in 23 starts with the Angels' Double-A Mobile farm club this season.

Ken Rosenthal with Major League Baseball on FOX and Jon Morosi of the Major League Baseball network are both reporting that the Tigers have a deal in place to send Upton to the Angels for minor leaguer Grayson Long and a player to be named later. Once that happened, the Tigers resumed talks with teams to trade the outfielder.

In a related move, the Angels then traded outfielder Cameron Maybin - who has played 45 games in left field this year and is hitting.235 - to the Houston Astros. He will be making $28 million each of the next two seasons, after which he has a $22 million option for the 2020 season that vests if he finishes in the top 5 of Cy Young voting in 2019.

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