By: Will Burchfield
The Tigers signed Justin Upton to a six-year contract in January of 2016.
A year and a half later, he’s already gone.
Per Jon Morosi, Detroit has agreed to trade Upton to the Angels, just hours ahead of the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report a deal was in the works.
Per Jerry Crasnick, the Angels are sending 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Grayson Long to the Tigers. Long is the Angels’ ninth-ranked prospect per MLB.com. In 23 starts in Double-A this season, he has a 2.52 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Upton, 30, was in the midst of a career year for the Tigers. He led the team in home runs (28), RBI (94), doubles (37), walks (57), runs scored (81) and OPS (.904).
He’s due $21.125 million annually through 2021, although his contract includes an opt-out clause after this season. Per Morosi, Upton was planning to exercise his opt-out had the Tigers kept him due to the team’s grim short-term future. Upton indicated as much at the end of last month.
“I came here to win,” he said.
Upton has a 20-team no-trade list, but the Angels were not one of the clubs on it, per Morosi. He has not assured them he will stay beyond this season.
The Tigers will kick in some cash to help cover the rest of Upton’s prorated $4 million salary this season. Should he play out the remainder of his contract, the Angels will pick up the rest.
The Angels, 69-65, are one game out of the A.L. Wild Card.