DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced this week that rookie JaCoby Jones will start in center field and split time with Andrew Romine to begin the season.
However, the Tigers might still be interested in finding an everyday player to patrol the expanses of the Comerica Park outfield.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted on Saturday that the Toronto Blue Jays may be interested in dealing away outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., the brother of Tigers left fielder Justin Upton. Heyman listed the Tigers as one possible team that could be intrigued by the idea of adding the 32-year-old veteran.
Not so fast! The Tigers may be more comfortable with Jones in center field than they’re leading on, according to Heyman.
But the Blue jays released Upton Jr. on Sunday and he’s expected to clear waivers, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Upton Jr. — formerly known as B.J. Upton — split time between the Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres last season, batting .238 with 20 home runs and 61 RBIs. He also added 27 stolen bases.
The Upton brothers played together with the Atlanta Braves in 2013 and 2014 and with the Padres in 2015. Upton Jr. is due to make about $16.5 million this season — the last year of a five-year, $72.5 million contract he signed with the Braves in 2013.