Texas Rangers reportedly looking to acquire Justin Upton
By David Cash
The Texas Rangers made several moves on Thursday to make room on the 40-man roster for several players to protect from the Rule-5 draft. Now it appears they are targeting Justin Upton to add to the outfield. The Rangers are in desperate need of an outfielder after designating Jim Adduci and trading Daniel Robertson to the Los Angeles Angels.
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It was a bit of a surprise to see the Texas Rangers move Robertson, especially after the good season he had in 2014. But, if Jon Daniels is serious about making a playoff run in 2015 then they’ll need to bolster their defense in the outfield. Last season players like Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Choice struggled in left field. Alex Rios was decent in right field and at times Leonys Martin failed to communicate.
There have been some reports on Twitter stating the Texas Rangers already have a deal in place for Justin Upton, but no major outlet has confirmed the reports. Upton is a good player, but comes at a budget busting $15 million owed for the 2015 season. Also, he only has one year left on the contract and Jon Daniels has said before he prefers to find players with 2 or more year left.
Also, there is the question who they’d give up to acquire Upton. Some reports state Jurickson Profar could be included in the package. Which makes sense because the Rangers are loaded with talent in the middle-infield. But, it isn’t time by any means to give up Profar. He will likely still be an amazing player.
Last season with the Atlanta Braves Justin Upton hit .270/.342 with 34 doubles, 2 triples, 29 home runs and 102 RBI over 641 plate-appearances. He had an offensive WAR of 3.5 but a lowly -0.9 defensive WAR. Which means he’s an upgrade a the plate, but doesn’t really help improve the defense in the outfield. The main thing the Texas Rangers might be looking at is another strong bat in the line, since players like Adduci and Choice both struggled at the plate last year.
Overall, the deal isn’t that great for the Texas Rangers. They’ll likely lose one or more of the prospects for a player they’ll only have for a year, but if they can make a good playoff run it might be worth it.