Justin Upton has been DFA'd by the LA Angels recently, and it has us wondering what's going to happen next. The team will have to pay the $28 million left on his contract, as he of course still had 2022 on his deal (the last year on it).
Nobody will be interested in trading for him--he has absolutely no trade value at this point. It's a similar situation that the team dealt with last year with Albert Pujols. Now with a universal DH, Upton has a wider range of teams to play for in 2022.
Upton is not a plus defender these days, but still has home run power even when he's at his worst. Hitting 17 home runs in 89 games last year, any team that needs power would be interested in signing Upton for nothing. Now that everybody has a DH, Upton will be an option for for a wider selection of potential suitors.
No. 3 best new home for Justin Upton after being DFA'd by LA Angels: San Diego Padres
Justin Upton may be looked at by his former manager in Bob Melvin who is currently the manager of the San Diego Padres. Melvin drafted Upton back in 2005 with the first overall pick (Diamondbacks), and got a lot of great performance out of him. Upton batted .272/.350/.485 (.836 OPS) for Melvin in three seasons.
That's not to mention that he hit a ludicrous .357/.526/.571 (1.098 OPS) line in the postseason with him. Melvin has aspirations of the playoffs this season, as he tends to get there very often. He inherits a squad that had an outfield that hit the third-least home runs in the game (55) and was dead-last in slugging percentage (.378). He needs outfield power. Bringing Upton back to San Diego could be worth a shot.