B.J. Upton has yet to live up to the 5 year $75 million contract he signed in 2012, at the time, it looked to be a very solid deal. Upton was coming off a very good 2012 season where he hit .246, 28 home runs, and had 31 steals. Nobody could have imagined things could have gone this south, but they have. Upton is hitting just .195 with 18 home runs, and 166 hits in just over a season and a half.
Upton has never really been a guy that hits for average, 10 years in the MLB and he’s only hit over .270 once during the regular season. What really made him stand out was the entire postseason of 2008, where he hit .288 with seven home runs, and 16 RBIs, however the Rays were no match for the Phillies pitching, and Tampa Bay ended up losing that World Series. That entire postseason really proved what Upton was capable of, granted that was six years ago, there was no question he could play.
There have been glimpses of hope, but the Braves were allegedly doing everything in their power to deal Upton before the trade deadline. Rumors arose that Atlanta was trying to work out a deal that would send Upton to the Chicago Cubs for Edwin Jackson, which by the way, is hysterical. Edwin Jackson for BJ Upton would be swapping two players that have underachieved the last two seasons, except with BJ, you can expect a solid outing once in a while. Jackson has been bad, really bad; he’s currently 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA. The Braves did get Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell from the Cubs for a prospect, Bonifacio is a switch hitting utility player that could replace BJ in the outfield if need be. Bonifacio comes at a much lower price tag for more production, and the Braves have also toyed with the idea of putting Gattis in the outfield and calling up Christian Bethancourt to play catcher full-time. Bethancourt’s defensive skills behind the plate are remarkable, so the Braves do have options if or when they deal Upton.
Rumors are that BJ Upton will be traded in the upcoming offseason, there isn’t a timetable as of yet, but the rumors are that it’s looming. So unless he totally rebuilds his swing, starts hitting .240, draws more walks, and strikes out less, the clock is ticking and Upton’s time as a Brave will be drawing to a close in the coming months.