Market heats up for B.J. Upton
Nov 16, 2012 at 12:00a ET
The full-court press is on for free-agent center fielder B.J. Upton.
Upton not only met with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, but also spoke with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in the week, according to major-league sources.
Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies’ longtime shortstop, was part of the team’s contingent that met with Upton, sources said.
Upton, 28, is the youngest center fielder on the open market, attracting clubs with his power, speed and defensive ability.
Free agent Angel Pagan, 31, is drawing considerable interest from many of the same clubs as Upton, and also could sign before the start of the winter meetings, sources said.
The Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians are among the other teams that could pursue help in center. Additional spots could open if players such as Minnesota’s Denard Span and Colorado’s Dexter Fowler are traded.
But even then, the Nationals could trade Morse and move Harper to open a spot for a center fielder, with Upton, Pagan and Michael Bourn among their possible targets.