Melvin Upton's five-year, $75.2 million deal is finally over, and now he currently has a minor-league deal with Cleveland for 2018. His stat capsule is not an error as he did not have a major-league plate appearance in 2017 and only had 49 in Triple-A before going down with a thumb injury. His new deal is for $1.5 million if he makes the club, and going to Cleveland is a nice fit for him because the club does a good job of utilizing platoons. Upton is nowhere near what he once was, but what he can do is hit lefties very well. Over his past two seasons of major-league play, Upton has a .267/.352/.492 line against lefties in 220 plate appearances. The last time we saw Upton, he put up a 20-20 season while playing for San Diego and Toronto. In deep AL-only leagues, Upton could be a dart throw that pays off in dollar days.
Upton will compete for a spot on Cleveland's Opening Day roster during spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Upton inked a minor-league contract with the Indians back in December and will battle for a backup outfield spot with Rajai Davis on the big-league squad. Three of Cleveland's outfielders bat left-handed, so Upton could see at-bats against lefty pitching if he makes the team. The 33-year-old slashed a disappointing .238/.291/.402 in 2016, and will look to rebound this season.
Upton signed a minor-league deal with the Indians on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. This is in line with how the Indians have approached outside outfield help in recent years, as Upton is affordable and does a couple things well, which could allow him to eventually earn a spot in the majors in a part-time capacity. He has a career 109 wRC+ against lefties, and slashed .275/.341/.533 against southpaws in 120 at-bats in 2016. Thumb and shoulder injuries limited him to just 12 games at Triple-A last season before being cut loose by the Giants in August. He can handle center field in a pinch, but can be a plus defender in left field, as he still has plenty of speed. Upton will get a chance to try to earn the short-side of a platoon this spring.
The Giants granted Upton his release Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com reports. The 33-year-old Upton inked a minor-league deal with the Giants in April with the hope of eventually working his way onto the big-league roster, but that never materialized after he battled injuries for much of the season and appeared in just 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento. Upton is back to full strength now, but since the last-place Giants weren't eager to open up playing time down the stretch for a declining veteran, he'll look to find an opportunity as a depth outfielder for a playoff-contending squad. He could have offer some usefulness as a baserunner and occasional starter against left-handed pitching.
Upton (shoulder) went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI in his return to the lineup at Triple-A Sacramento, Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Upton missed two and a half months with a thumb injury earlier this season and was able to compete in just one game in July before being sidelined by a new shoulder ailment. After some time off, he made his Triple-A return Tuesday and will likely finish out the 2017 campaign in the Giants' minor leagues unless another MLB club shows interest in him.
Upton is dealing with shoulder irritation, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Upton only managed to appear in one game for Triple-A Sacramento before injuring himself once more. He's scheduled to see team doctors soon, after which more information on the injury and how long he'll be out should come forth. For now, consider him day-to-day.