Danny Knobler is reporting (via Twitter) that the Rays placed BJ Upton on waivers this week. This must be done in order to trade a player in August. If Upton clears waivers (unlikely) the Rays are free to negotiate a trade with any team. If Upton is claimed, the Rays can only negotiate a trade with that team.

Upton joins Johnny Damon, James Shields, and Kyle Farnsworth as members of the Rays that have been exposed to waivers this month. Damon is the only player known to have cleared waivers.

Interestingly, Adam Kilgore speculates that the Nationals, and other teams, will just wait for the Rays to non-tender Upton this winter. A player is non-tendered if he has less than six years of service time but the team doesn’t want to pay whatever the player’s arbitration salary would be. By non-tendering Upton, the Rays would essentially be allowing Upton to become a free agent a year early. We have already written about how silly this idea is, so it is strange that Kilgore just assumes it will happen.

Upton will likely make $6.5-7.0 million in arbitration for the 2012 season. That is certainly more than the Rays would like to pay, but it is still a good deal for a player like Upton. And the Rays are not a team that likes to just give up players for nothing.

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15 Comments

  1. I smell a white flag coming up out in front of the Trop.

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    • Beth says:

      We all know their chances are quite slim, but to me "waving the white flag" would be letting someone like Damon or Farnsworth go. Upton? How is his .225 average going to determine whether the Rays make the playoffs?

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  2. Buddhaboy says:

    good riddance. So tired of his face

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  3. Joe D. says:

    A player getting exposed to waivers is a nonstory at this time of the year, especially an under achiever, get back to me when they are working on a deal...

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    • Jim says:

      Except Upton is a player the Rays clearly want to trade. So that makes this a little more than a non-story.

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  4. MJ says:

    Is $6.75 mil really a "good deal" for a guy w/ a .708 OPS and over a K/game over the last three years? maybe im jaded by what the Rays get from other players for less money.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, it certainly isn't what the Rays would like to pay. But if Upton was a free agent,he'd probably make $8-10 million per year depending on which teams got involved. Shane Victorino is getting $7.5M this year and $9.5M next year and he wasn't a free agent and is probably a slightly lesser player than Upton. So, $6.5-7.0 may not be a great deal, but it is not a bad deal.

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      • Drew says:

        Victorino a slightly lesser player?

        http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=5015&playerid3=1677&playerid4=&playerid5=

        The only thing that could possibly command BJ more money on the open market is his younger age. But I feel that is offset by all the negative things we have seen from him over his career.

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          When Victorino signed that deal, he was a slightly lesser player. He had one 4-win season prior to this year and Upton had two and a third season of 3.9 Wins. And Upton is younger, which is something that cannot be ignored.

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  5. paul says:

    Guyer may be better right now than Upton. He seems to be the heir apparent and we need to move BJ to give Guyer some MLB experience going into next season.

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  6. Steve says:

    BJ needs to spend the offseason with Zobrist to fix his swing and approach at the plate. I would have said his brother but Justin has way more pop and is just a freak. BJ needs to shorten his swing and cut out all that wasted motion in his swing. People forget he is only in his mid 20s. Most guys arent even in the show at that age.

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    • Sarah says:

      True, and it doesn't make sense to write someone off at this stage, but what bothers me about BJ is that he seems to have become a lesser hitter each year. It's the trajectory that leaves me discouraged about him. Really good players start with talent and then they learn to make adjustments to enjoy consistent success at the big league level. Where's the evidence that Upton has any kind of learning curve?

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