Texas is showing interest in Justin Upton as free agency continues
The Texas Rangers are taking an interest to outfielder Justin Upton this offseason according to Ken Rosenthal. Texas is looking to add a right-handed bat that poses a consistent threat with both power and contact ability. The addition of Upton would allow the Rangers to rely less on Josh Hamilton who was fairly inconsistent in 2015 posting a .253 batting average and 8 HR in 50 games. The biggest problem with Hamilton was his inability to get on base with a .291 OBP last season, nearly 60 points lower than his 9-year career average.
Last year, Upton hit .251 alongside a .336 on-base percentage and a .454 slugging percentage. Upton also hit 26 HR in 2015 and had 81 RBI. The Rangers are searching for a right-handed power bat and 25+ homeruns a year is a big incentive to pay the high price to get Upton.
Currently, the Texas Rangers and Upton are on different pages, with Texas looking to ink the outfielder to a one-year contract and Upton seeking a multi-year deal.
This deal seems like a longshot for Texas considering their rather limited budget with big contracts still locked up for the foreseeable future including that of Prince Fielder, Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo and lefty-ace Cole Hamels. For the Texas Rangers to be able to bring Upton in, he would have to relent on his desire for a long-term deal or Texas would have to make some adjustments to the payroll most likely resulting in a trade to dump salary.
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