The Halos are shaking up their outfield.
The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to acquire Justin Upton from the Detroit Tigers, according to multiple reports. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report Thursday, citing sources, that the Halos were on the verge of acquiring the All-Star outfielder.
Detroit also will acquire either a player to be named later or cash, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who previously followed Rosenthal’s initial report by confirming the Angels were landing Upton.
The Angels will assume the majority of Upton’s contract, according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the 30-year-old’s future. Upton is owed $88.5 million over the next four years but could opt out of his current contract and test free agency, a move that reportedly would have been likely had he stayed with Detroit.
It’s unclear at this point whether Upton will stay with the Angels long-term after Thursday’s trade.
Upton, who was in the midst of his second year with the Tigers, entered Thursday hitting .279 with 28 home runs, 94 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .904 OPS in 125 games this season. He’s earned four All-Star selections and two Silver Slugger Awards over the course of his 11-year career.
In a related move, the Houston Astros have claimed outfielder Cameron Maybin off revocable waivers from the Angels, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. Rosenthal was the first to report the Astros were acquiring Maybin, whose contract will be assumed by Houston.
All told, these are stunning developments that could impact the American League playoff race. The Angels entered Thursday sitting one game behind the Minnesota Twins for the second wild-card spot and two games behind the New York Yankees for the top spot.
The Astros, meanwhile, have a commanding advantage in the AL West, leading the second-place Angels by 11 games. But the ‘Stros have seen their stranglehold on the American League’s No. 1 seed drop in recent weeks. Houston now sits three games ahead of the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians and 3 1/2 games ahead of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox for the AL’s top seed.
Thumbnail photo via Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports Images