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For a while, it appeared that the Phillies had set their sights on acquiring B.J. Upton in free agency. Even before sportswriters like FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal began suggesting it, I saw their pursuit of Upton as a no-brainer—at least in terms of how the Phillies tend to think about and value players.
However, now that there is so much discussion in the media about Upton coming to Philadelphia—even the suggestion that the Phillies have hired two former Tampa Bay employees in an effort to court him (see reference above)—I'm starting to feel better.
I don't think Upton would make a great fit in Philly, and would rather Ruben Amaro turn his attention elsewhere. If Amaro’s tenure as general manager has taught us anything, it’s to never believe anything that’s reported until it actually happens. His offseason priorities typically remain quiet, and whatever is published is often a smokescreen.
Let’s hope that is the case with Upton, because like many others it would be a signing that is soon regretted.
Upton fits the Phillies' needs to a tee: he’s a talented, right-handed power-hitting outfielder. He plays good defense, has blazing speed and his potential is enormous. At just 28 years old, his best years should still be ahead of him.
While his cost has been projected to be less than some of his counterparts, Upton still won't come cheap. He strikes out too much and fails to get on base at an alarming rate. If the first seven years of his career are any indication, he may never live up to his abilities. And in order to sign him, the Phillies would have to surrender their highest draft pick in a decade.
Avoid at almost all costs. Unless Upton were willing to sign a very team-friendly contract (three years, $27 million, plus four low-cost team options that would keep him in Philadelphia throughout his prime), he is not worth the cost of the 16th pick in the draft.