Nov 8, 2012

Rays could make a run at Justin Upton [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens
Justin Upton
Justin Upton
Courtesy: Flickr
[UPDATE, 11/9/12, 4:19pm ET]: BJ Upton has officially declined the Rays qualifying offer freeing the Rays to officially try to acquire Justin.

[Original story]: So today we learned that the Rays are interested in BJ's brother Justin. He's exactly what the Rays need: a good bad that is young. There are problems, but they're easy to overcome.

First the Rays would need BJ Upton to reject the qualifying offer the Rays made to receive a draft pick. Which is almost a certainty. Next the Rays would need either the D-Backs or a third team in a possible 3-team trade to eat some of Justin's contract. (He's contracted to make $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, $14.5 million in 2015.) Then it's just a case of which players do the Rays ship off to Phoenix.

The Rays could make one of the first big splashes this off season if they get Justin, but while they are a favorite to land the 25 year old, they aren't the only team looking at Justin.

Other teams mentioned are the Rangers, Tigers and Yankees.

So it will take some work by Andrew Friedman to land Justin. But it's not impossible. It's not even a "dream big" long shot either.

Could Justin find a home in Tampa Bay? We'll just have to wait and find out.

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