The Angels have designated Justin Upton for assignment, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter). Upton is owed $28MM this season in the last year of his deal. Anyone who claims Upton would have to take on the $28MM contract, so the likelihood here is that Upton will soon before a free agent.
The Angels appear ready to go young in the outfield. The burden to flank all-world superstar Mike Trout in the outfield will now fall to highly-touted prospects Joe Adell and Brandon Marsh. Taylor Ward28, will also be in the mix for playing time there.
As for Upton, the 34-year-old has proved a streaky hitter in recent years, though his final line came in at just .211/.296/.409 over 362 plate appearances. He did, however, still slug southpaws to the tune of .225/.355/.483. As a free agent, Upton could be a low-cost option to provide some value in a short-side platoon. He’s also been working out at first base this spring, which could give an avenue to playing time somewhere.
Speculatively speaking, the Red Sox, Padres, Tigers, Rangers, Dodgers, or Rockies might be interested in giving Upton a look in this capacity.
In a corresponding move, Ty Buttrey was reinstated from the restricted list and placed on the 40-man roster. The right-handed reliever has been optioned to Triple-A, by the team.