The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez, as first reported by FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal early Tuesday.
Upton, 31, is enjoying a resurgence this season, batting .256/.304/.439 with 16 homers, 45 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He has been especially effective against left-handers, hitting .282/.337/.576. It’s his second season with San Diego following two subpar seasons with the Atlanta Braves and eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, who drafted him second overall in 2002.
He’ll join a Blue Jays outfield that features Jose Bautista, who is just off the DL because of a toe injury, All-Star Michael Saunders and Kevin Pillar.
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Upton is earning $15,450,000 this season and is set to make $16,450,000 next season — the final year of his contract.
The Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles are among the other teams that reportedly were interested in Upton ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
Rodriguez, a 19-year-old right-hander, is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 26 strikeouts in six starts (32 1/3 innings) in the rookie-league level this season.