B.J. Upton has officially declined the Rays’ qualifying offer, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The centerfielder was widely expected to turn down the one-year, $13.3MM offer, putting the Rays in position to pick up a compensatory draft pick.
Now that Upton is officially off the books, the Rays may now use the new found freedom to pursue B.J.’s younger brother, Justin Upton. Tampa Bay is obviously working with a pitching surplus and could use James Shields, David Price, or Jeremy Hellickson to get such a deal done.