The Toronto Blue Jays are listening to offers on outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., sources tell FanRag Sports. The Blue Jays acquired Upton Jr. from the San Diego Padres just prior to the trade deadline last season.
The Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants could be potential fits for the outfielder, as they seem to make sense for a right-handed outfielder. The Baltimore Orioles would seem to make sense, but are “not a fit,” a source said. The Detroit Tigers are said to be set in the outfield, too.
Upton Jr. appeared in 57 games with the Blue Jays last season, batting .196/.261/.318 in 165 plate appearances. He spent the majority of his time with the team in left field, also appearing in center down the stretch for Toronto, which was eliminated in the ALCS by the Cleveland Indians.
Coming into the season, Upton Jr. is owed $16.45 million, $11.45 million of which will be paid by the Padres. He will become a free agent at season’s end for the first time since 2013, when he signed a five-year, $75.25 million deal with the Atlanta Braves.
Upton Jr. was the second overall pick in the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, who fast-tracked him to the major leagues as a 19-year-old in 2004. Drafted as a shortstop, he was shifted to center field by the time he took over a full-time role for the Rays in 2007.
He played the first eight seasons of his 12-year career as a member of the Rays. After just two seasons with Atlanta after he signed, he was jettisoned to San Diego, where he played a combined 179 games over two years.
If Upton Jr. is not a member of the roster, the Blue Jays currently have Dalton Pompey and Ezequiel Carrera to fill the left field position.