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Angels, Justin Upton agree to five-year deal

By in Press Enterprise on November 2, 2017

By Jeff Fletcher

Justin Upton has agreed to a five-year, $106 million deal with the Angels, superseding four remaining years he had on his contract when the Angels acquired him for the final month of the season.

Upton’s contract included an opt-out clause, which he had to exercise by three days after the World Series — Saturday. Instead, Upton decided to stay, in exchange for the Angels adding a year and $17.5 million to his contract. The deal was announced on Thursday.

Upton, 30, hit .273 with 30 homers and 109 RBIs, with a .901 OPS in 2017, one of his best seasons. He hit seven homers with an .887 OPS in the month after the Angels acquired him from the Detroit Tigers, adding a dangerous hitter behind Mike Trout.

Had Upton decided to opt-out, he would have gone onto market as one of the top two or three offensive players, along with J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. He may have been able to get a more lucrative deal as a free agent.

Upton, however, said shortly before the end of the season that he’d enjoyed his time with the Angels, and also that winning was his primary goal in making his decision. Although the Angels finished 80-82 this season, having Upton for an entire season certainly would appear to have them on track for contending.

Upton was also believed to favor the West Coast. He lives in Arizona and his wife is from Arizona.

By locking up Upton, the Angels apparently have a long-term solution to their left-field hole, which has been an issue for years.

The restructured deal also slightly lowers the average annual value of Upton’s deal, from $22.125 million to $21.2 million, which helps the team keep its payroll under the threshold for the luxury tax.

Including the players the Angels are likely to offer […]    

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