The Giants have released veteran outfielder Melvin Upton after he requested his release, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag first reported on Twitter. Upton, it seems, is hopeful of catching on with a contender down the stretch.
Upton, who turns 33 today, caught on with the Giants in early April after he was released by the Blue Jays at the end of camp. He has seen only minimal action since, owing to thumb and shoulder issues. And none of it has come at the major-league level.
If Upton doesn’t make it back to the majors this year, it would represent his first season without MLB action since way back in 2005. He certainly will need to show he warrants a roster spot before he’ll have an opportunity, as he struggled badly late last year and Toronto and has hit just .244/.306/.333 over 49 plate appearances this year at Triple-A.
Still, it is conceivable that Upton could end up being a useful bench piece for a late-season run. He has long been a stolen base threat and quality overall baserunner. While defensive metrics have wavered on his glovework in center, both UZR and DRS graded him as a positive contributor in left field in 2016.