After a day of rumours while the Padres were visiting the Blue Jays, it appears that outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. will be switching clubhouses today at the Rogers Centre as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Upton has been traded to Toronto for a "Class A prospect". Upton did not appear in Monday night's game against the Jays.
Little is known in this early hour—this piece was published at 7:40 am Eastern—including the identity of this "Class A prospect" as well as how much cash will be coming to the Jays for Upton. Upton was signed by the Braves to a five-year deal back in 2012 which pays him $15.45 million for 2016 and $16.45 million in 2017. With roughly 37% remaining in this season, Upton is owed around $5.4 million for the rest of this year.
It’s impossible to evaluate this deal at the moment as there are still major unknowns, but the Padres would have to be chipping in for a portion of Upton’s remaining contract if they were to get any prospect with some value.
Upton, who turns 32 in a month, has been enjoying somewhat of a bounceback after two horrible years with the Braves. He is hitting .256/.304/.439 good for a perfectly average wRC+ of 100, but he ranks 29th among outfielders in offensive WAR, with is 16 homers ranking him 21st in the league among outfielders. There is a potential for his power game to step up by moving him from the spacious Petco Park to Rogers Centre.
His glove is not anything to write home about, but (without having seen him play lately) he is probably an upgrade on current starting outfielders not named Kevin Pillar.
Upton, who at one time was known as "B. J.", spent his first eight major league seasons in the American League East with the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays before signing with the Braves. He was traded to the Padres in 2015.
UPDATE (9:02 am)
The Blue Jays will likely be sending at least a somewhat good prospect to the Padres are going to be footing "a very substantial sum" for Upton's contract.
UPDATE 2 (10:10 am)
The prospect going to the Padres is actually Rookie-level, not class-A, right-handed pitcher Hansel Rodriguez. Rodriguez might not be a premium prospect but that Hansel, so hot right now!
Padres get rhp hansel rodriguez for melvin Upton. $ goes to (or.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2016