It just scrolled across the bottom line that Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to pay outfielder Justin Upton $51.25 million over the next six seasons. Upton is 22 years old and going into his fourth season in the Show. He was an All-Star last season after hitting .300 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI. He also stole 20 bases.
While Justin deserved the deal and Arizona may win in the long run by buying out some arbitration and free agent years, this puts his brother B.J.'s employer the Rays in a bind. We all know the story of B.J. Upton. He was rushed through the system as an infielder, then finally found a position in the outfield. After hitting .300 a few seasons ago, B.J. struggled at the plate and with his effort. His defense has been solid for someone learning the position, but he still hasn't completely fulfilled the potential that made him the second pick in 2002.
The Rays just won their arbitration hearing with B.J. to pay him $3 million this season. With Justin getting such a big deal, is B.J. going to want to get a large long term deal?
Now I have been a big B.J. supporter, I'm not sure how this is going to shake out. The Rays have budget issues and Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena are free agents after the season. Pena is expendable, but CC has to be kept around. The Rays have to let people move on at some point, but is now the time for B.J. to go? What do you think the Rays should do with Desmond Jennings on the way and B.J. looking for a payday?