The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a six-year contract with free agent outfielder Justin Upton, according to multiple reports.
The Detroit Tigers have made the big splash in the outfield market that most fans had hoped for. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Justin Upton and the Tigers have agreed to terms on a six-year contract.
"Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who craves star players and refuses to let money stand in the way of being a World Series contender, agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Justin Upton on a six-year contract Monday night, a person directly involved with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports."
The exact terms of the deal are still yet to be reported. Ken Rosenthal originally reported the deal to be worth approximately $125 million before correcting that and saying it will be north of that figure.
According to Rosenthal’s final update, the contract will be worth a total of $132.75 million and includes a player opt-out clause after the second year.
The opt-out clause will prevent the Tigers from gaining the maximum possible upside from this deal, but a bloated payroll means they might be looking for salary relief in a couple of years anyway. Upton will have the opportunity to hit free agency again at age 30, an attractive proposition for him surely.
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Upton batted .251/.336/.454 with 26 home runs last season with the hitter-unfriendly Petco Park serving as his home ballpark. The 28 year old owns a career 121 wRC+ and a 127 wRC+ 2016 Steamer projection. Yoenis Cespedes, for comparison, will enter 2016 with a projected 111 wRC+ according to Steamer.
Upton looks to enter the Detroit Tigers starting lineup as the everyday left fielder. That’s the position he played the last two seasons with the Padres and Braves respectively. For his career, Upton has rated as an average defender in the corner outfield positions by Ultimate Zone Rating.