Indians, Upton agree to minor league deal pending physical
CLEVELAND (AP) Free agent outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, pending a successful physical.
The deal includes an invitation to big league spring training. He was limited to 12 games last season at Triple-A Sacramento by thumb and shoulder injuries. The San Francisco Giants released Upton in August.
If healthy, Upton could give the Indians some outfield depth and insurance in case the club doesn’t re-sign Austin Jackson, who is a free agent. Jackson was a valuable addition last season for the AL Central champions.
In 2016, Upton batted .238 with 20 homers and 61 RBIs with 27 steals for San Diego and Toronto. The 33-year-old has mostly played center field during his career, which has also included stops at Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
The Indians have some unanswered questions in the outfield with Michael Brantley (ankle) and Bradley Zimmer (hand) coming off injuries.
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