As has been rumored over the past few weeks, Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton is most likely going to be traded before next week’s trade deadline. The only question is where he’ll end up and what the Rays will get in return for him.
The 26-year-old Upton has had a decent year, hitting just .229, but belting 15 home runs and racking up 52 RBI.
As teams have seen the prices for fellow outfielders Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran skyrocket, they have started to look at Upton as an alternative.
The Rays and Philadelphia Phillies have been talking about an Upton deal possibly in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Brody Colvin. That said, the Phillies have been connected to a lot of outfielders over the past few weeks, so that could just be the random talk general managers have all the time.
The Washington Nationals are also looking at Upton, as they have serious needs in center. The Nats have had scouts watching him recently, but they have been given pause by the fact that Upton will become a free agent after the 2012 season and Washington would prefer a more long-term solution.
The St. Louis Cardinals have discussed swapping Colby Rasmus for Upton, but there is no evidence those talks were anything but preliminary.
All we know is that Upton, the No. 2 pick in the 2002 MLB Draft and a homegrown Rays product, is likely in his last few weeks with Tampa Bay.