While the MLB offseason has been slow to heat up, the Atlanta Braves look poised to make the first big move. Atlanta has agreed to a contract with center fielder B.J. Upton, this according to multiple reports.
The 28 year old center fielder joins the Braves after eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .246 in 2012 with 28 home runs, 78 RBI, and 31 stolen bases. He presents a younger alternative to Michael Bourn who roved center field for Atlanta last season.
Upton has posted at least 31 stolen bases over the past five seasons and has increased his home run totals in each of the past four years. He brings more power than Bourn, but doesn’t fit the same leadoff hitting profile.
Upton's deal is reportedly for five years and worth approximately $75 million.
The Nationals were once rumored to have interest in Upton, but many believe a left-handed bat would be a better fit. Because of this, they have been linked moreso to Bourn who now clearly isn't going to back with the Braves. The Phillies were said to have heavy interest in Upton and may now turn their focus to Bourn. Either way, we now know at least one of them will be in the N.L. East.
With Bryce Harper's free agency approaching in 2018, the Nationals slugger has kept his options open as everyone is speculating about where he'll end up when his contract with the Nats has come to an end.
From the Yankees to the Cubs, the rumor mill simply isn't stopping. And, perhaps, another clue about his plans has appeared.
Before Tuesday night's matchup against the Cubs, Harper posted an Instagram with his wife, Kayla, along with childhood friend and Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant, and Bryant's wife, Jess.
That was nothing unusual as the pair grew up playing baseball together in their hometown of Las Vegas. However, the caption is what stuck out.
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"Just two Vegas boys living out our dream with the ones we love! This is what it's all about..What a time to be alive🙌🏻#MLB #702 #Back2BackOneDay"
Social media went into a frenzy over what seemed like an allusion to Harper's future: he wants to eventually join back up with his childhood buddy Kris Bryant, just like the good ol' days.
Adding to the worry is that Harper's dog is named Wrigley.
Are the Cubs a shoo-in for Bryce Harper with the appeal of his childhood best friend and his dog's name?
Could this allusion mean heading up the windy city and a reunion for Harper and his pal?
Did Harper just hint at his future with the Cubs with an Instagram hashtag?
The Washington Nationals were stealing bases all night long against the Chicago Cubs, swiping a total of seven bags in a 6-1 victory on Tuesday.
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Following the game, tensions were high for Cubs catcher Miguel Montero who quickly pointed the blame at pitcher Jake Arrieta for the stolen bases.
Cubs star first baseman Anthony Rizzo addressed the situation, calling Montero "selfish."
Less than 24 hours later, Montero was designated for assignment.
The Cubs have decided to call up Triple-A catcher Victor Caratini to replace Montero, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
The Nats may have literally run Montero out of Chicago.