With the recent decisions to release Dan Uggla (with a pile of money remaining on his contract) and jettison Luis Avilan to the Minor Leagues, it appears as if Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves are ratcheting up the heat on their roster. In that vein, Peter Gammons is citing a general manager in referencing a “desperate” attempt by the Braves to rid themselves of B.J. Upton and his massive deal.
Gm post-Uggla:”Braves desperate to get someone to take BJ Upton at almost any cost.”
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 19, 2014
“Almost any cost” is very interesting with regard to Upton, simply because he does provide significant value at a position where Atlanta does not have any big-time prospects. The 29-year-old Upton has struggled mightily throughout his tenure with the Braves, but he is owed more than $46 million for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons, and that makes him nearly impossible to move without some serious maneuvering.
Like Uggla, B.J. Upton’s performance at the plate has left a lot to be desired (55 wRc+ in 2013 and 73 wRC+ in 2014), but on the positive side, Upton remains a positive in center field with regard to defense, and he is on pace for more than 25 stolen bases. Because of the high cost to send him away, the Braves are likely better off simply hoping for a mechanical shift to allow him to turn around at the plate, but this recent revelation from Gammons means that the focus could continue to ramp up in the coming days.
Tags: Atlanta Braves