The Arizona Diamondbacks and right-fielder Justin Upton have finalized a six-year deal worth more than $50 million, two people close to the negotiations told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. The people said the deal was finalized Monday night and will be announced Wednesday
We’ve given Upton a lot of praise on this very site. He’s one of the most exciting young players in baseball and if he chooses to do it, he could end up a 40-40 guy. Clearly, there’s no more safer option to build around from a standpoint of a position player in all of baseball.
I know in talking to fans in Arizona, they thought Upton would walk as soon as he was eligible to go elswhere. Being that he’s just 21 years of age, when this deal ends he’ll still be just entering his prime years at age 27. He’ll be eligible for a monster contract then if he does anything close to what he was doing last season.
The USA Today post is quick to point out that this is similar to the wise move the Tampa Bay Rays made when they locked up Evan Longoria to a long term deal while buying out several of his arbitration years.
Again, this is a great move. This kid is going to be a superstar, having already OPS’d above .900 at his age and coming off a season in which he hit .300 for the year. Only Hall of Famers and locks for the Hall have ever had a season like Upton had last year at his age in terms of OPS. He’s in elite territory and if the Dbacks can support him he’s going to be doing things on the grand stage in Octobers to come. You have to love seeing a team lock up a young player to keep him out of the hands of all the evil empires out there.