On August 31, the Angels acquired Justin Upton from the Tigers in exchange for a pair of right-handed pitchers, Grayson Long and Elvin Rodriguez. In the second year of a six-year, $132.75 million deal, Upton was in the midst of the second-best season of his career, and the move positioned the Angels to make a late-season postseason push, though they ultimately came up short.
The Angels were able to land Upton for the low cost of two minor league pitchers because his contract includes an opt-out clause after this season and with the Tigers entering a rebuilding phase, he was likely to elect free agency, and leave the final four years of his contract behind. Even after having success in Anaheim and the Angels intending to remain competitive for the foreseeable future, however, Upton still reportedly plans to exercise his opt-out clause.
Opting out doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to leave Anaheim. As has been reported, it may simply be a way for him to negotiate a more lucrative contract with the Angels.
Regardless, the best-case scenario for the Angels involves Upton manning left field for them next season, whether it’s by opting into his current contract or signing a new one. Continue reading at Halos Heaven.