DETROIT — The San Francisco Giants are reportedly interested in trading for Tigers outfielder Justin Upton before Thursday’s waiver-wire trade deadline.
Jon Morosi, insider for MLB Network, was busy on the Tigers front on Tuesday with a pair of trade rumors related to Detroit. Morosi first tweeted earlier in the evening that another team has become interested in Justin Verlander, and about five hours later he announced the Giants are looking to make a move for Upton.
The issue with trading for Upton is the possibility that he could opt-out of his contract after this season. He still has four years and $88.5 million remaining on his deal — which is a good contract for him — but if he wasn’t happy with where he landed or simply felt he could make more money by testing the free agent market then an opt-out could occur.
Morosi later tweeted that the Giants would only make the move if they were “certain” he wouldn’t opt-out of his current deal.
Morosi also offered another possibility if the Giants believe he will opt-out after the season — pursue him as a free agent.
Also keep in mind that Upton has a no-trade clause in his contract that excludes any move to 20 teams across the league. That’s another hurdle the Tigers would have to deal with if they are shopping Upton.
Upton has been possibly the only bright spot for the Tigers in 2017. Upton leads the club in nearly every offensive statistic, including home runs (28), RBIs (94), runs (81), doubles (37) and slugging percentage (.549). His strong season has certainly risen his stock and possibly enough to test free agency.
The waiver trade deadline is on Thursday so there are only a few days left to make a deal if the Giants are truly interested in Upton. The Giants are completely out of contention for the postseason — they are 40 games back in the National League West with a 53-80 record — so the move would be about improving the club for next season and beyond. If Upton won’t opt-out then there’s a chance the he will be shipped out west before the end of the week.