Blue Jays Acquire Melvin Upton, Jr. from Padres

The Toronto Blue Jays have sent a Class A prospect to San Diego in exchange for Melvin Upton, Jr., who used to be known as B.J. Upton.

Upton is hitting .256 with 16 home runs, 45 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases so far this year. He brings speed and power to an outfield that will likely lose Jose Bautista to free agency. He's expensive, but reports suggest the Padres will be paying a good chunk of his salary.

If you're curious as to why B.J. changed his name back to Melvin, B.J. stood for "Bossman Junior" as his father, Manny, was nicknamed "Bossman". Upton stated his desire to use his actual name was a result of teammates and fans knowing him as B. J. and feeling the name was irrelevant to him away from the ball diamond.

Now you know, the rest of the story.


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Barry

He's not a great player, but is about league-average, and that makes for an excellent fourth outfielder this year, and insurance for next year.

Even if the Jays keep Bautista, he was unlikely to be an outfielder next year. Bautista has been a train wreck in right field the last two years and is getting worse by the minute. First base and DH are in his future.

While conceivably they could have room for both Edwin and Bautista next year (dividing time at 1B/DH, with Smoak on the bench), realistically the Jays would be nuts to sign both to long term deals.

July 26, 2016 @ 9:41 AM

markosaar

What am I missing that the Padres would be willing to keep paying the majority of his salary? I can't seem to find that addressed anywhere. Seems like a terrible trade for them.

July 26, 2016 @ 7:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@markosaar

It really does.

And assuming the Jays don't trade Saunders or anything at the deadline, this is a great depth move for them. A fourth outfielder who could start and has loads of speed. And I envision a time when Edwin is playing first, Joey Bats is DHing and the outfield is Saunders, Pillar and Upton.

July 26, 2016 @ 7:04 PM

chris

Awesome trade.

BTW watching Bjays against Cheryl's Arizona Diamondbacks last week there was a sign held up by a fan from Toronto who drove to Arizona to watch the series.

"I drove from Toronto to Arizona not for the sun but to see it Rain". JD hit a home run that game.

July 26, 2016 @ 7:38 PM

Barry

@markosaar

Yeah, I was stunned when I heard how much they were picking up. I assumed it was a pure salary dump and they'd pick up a much smaller amount.

My best guess is that perhaps it's an accounting thing. Even though the $17 million is being applied to Upton's salary for both seasons, it might be the case that, since the transaction happened in 2016, they are able to put the full $17 million on this year's books. And if that's the case, the move might actually give them payroll flexibility in 2017.

Yeah, it's just a creative way of accounting for the same money, but sometimes this sort of thing is done.

July 27, 2016 @ 9:31 AM

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