The LA Angels owe Justin Upton $28 million for 2022. That's a lot of money for any player, but Upton in particular due to him not quite earning that level of salary in his time with the Halos. Upton has battled injuries ever since 2019, and hasn't been able to stay on the field, or be able to play fully healthy even when he's out there.
There is one thing Upton has been able to do when he's been out there, however, for his whole Angels career. That's hit the long ball. In 366 games with the Angels, he's hit 75 home runs. That's 33 home runs per 162 games. If a team is desperate for home run power, they could take a chance on trading for him once this lockout (hopefully) ends.
After all, it's not like the Angels have no holes on their roster. A trade for pitching would be much appreciated. I'm a believer in Upton's performance when he's healthy (check his month before he got hurt last year), but if we can acquire some sure-fire pitching in the bullpen for him, that would be a safer bet than banking on Upton staying upright in 2022.
No. 3 Justin Upton destination if LA Angels get out of contract: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates could potentially be interested in bringing in Justin Upton due to the fact that he has home run power that their outfield doesn't have. Their outfield combined for just 65 home runs last year, which was tied for the fifth-lowest in the Majors.
While the Pirates don't typically spend a lot, this big contract would only be for one year, and perhaps they could get more juice out of Upton due to this being a contract year.