As expected, B.J. Upton—as well as all eight other MLB eligibles—declined his $13.3 qualifying offer from the Rays Friday, officially making him a free agent. With B.J. Upton now surely not returning to Tampa Bay next season, there’s a lot of speculation of the Rays potentially making a serious run at younger brother Justin via trade.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Rays could potentially emerge as front-runners for Upton since the Texas Rangers continue to insist that they’re not willing to trade a shortstop (Jurickson Profar or Elvis Andrus) to the Diamondbacks in a trade for him. Rosenthal also suggests that the Rays could offer either Jeremy Hellickson or James Shields in addition to prospect Hak-Ju Lee if they were to deal for Upton.
More Rays News and Notes:
- I personally like the idea of the Rays trading a pitcher and a prospect for a player at the caliber of Upton’s, but a recent article over at DRaysBay.com voices some legitimate concern over the 25-year-old star outfielder.
- Jim Hickey talks Rays starting rotation on WDAE.
- David Price continues his eventful fall, winning a PGA Pro-Am tournament (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic) Friday. Below is his victory speech: