In the past two seasons, Justin Upton has underperformed in Anaheim. The Angels are currently on the books for two-years, $52.7 million, which is a turn-off for any team interested in Upton. However, his recent performances in spring training could have a contending team reconsider.
Spring Training 2021 Statistics:
- Upton (11 games): .333 BA 3 HR 5 RBI 2 BB 8 SO .750 SLG
The Angels would also have to factor the no-trade clause in Upton’s contract. Assuming the scenario fits and he would play for a team competing for a World Series, maybe there’s a chance Upton would waive this.
There is also a likelihood the Halos would have to eat a significant portion of Upton’s contract. It might not seem reasonable at first but the Angels have Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Jordyn Adams waiting for their shot in the big leagues. At some point, the Halos need to consider how they can give their young talent meaningful repetitions at the MLB-level.
The salary dumps aren’t uncommon, we’ve seen the Angels acquire Dexter Fowler and Alex Cobb with the Cardinals and Orioles paying a large majority of their contracts just to have them play elsewhere.
At this point in his career, it’s safe to assume Upton won’t be a .300 hitter. He’s streaky, but when he’s on, he’s one of the best in the league with his ability to slug. A hot-bat around July could be enough for a team in need of offensive power to take their shot.