Speaking with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Saturday, newly minted Angels left fielder Justin Upton noted that the free agent market has changed since January 2016, when he signed a six-year, $132.75MM contract with the Tigers, adding that “teams are looking for different things” (Twitter link). While the market shift could impact whether the 29-year-old opts out of the remaining $88.5MM on his contract after the season, it seems he’s considering vacating what’s left of the pact. “If you play well enough, there’s a job for you,” said Upton, who has slashed .279/.362/.541 with 28 home runs in 528 plate appearances in 2017. Thanks to his outstanding performance this year, the majority of those who voted in MLBTR’s latest poll on Friday expect Upton to test free agency again in the offseason.
More on the Halos and two other AL clubs:
- Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera will serve a six-game suspension stemming from his role in a brawl with the Yankees on Aug. 24, while reliever Alex Wilson will sit three games and manager Brad Ausmus will be barred from one, per an announcement from Detroit. Major League Baseball originally handed down seven-, four- and one-game bans to Cabrera, Wilson and Ausmus, respectively, before the appeals process. Their suspensions began Saturday against Cleveland, with bench coach Gene Lamont stepping in for Ausmus.
- As of Friday, settlement discussions between MLB and the players’ union regarding suspensions for Yankees catchers Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine were still ongoing, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. A decision is unlikely to come before Monday, per Rosenthal, who adds that the two backstops won’t serve their penalties simultaneously. Before Sanchez and Romine appealed, the former received the larger ban (four games to two).
- Angels right-hander J.C. Ramirez will miss the rest of the season because of an elbow strain, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports (Twitter link). The Halos placed Ramirez on the 60-day disabled list on Friday, which didn’t come as a surprise given that he received a platelet-rich plasma injection earlier this week and looked unlikely to return at the time. Fortunately for both team and player, general manager Billy Eppler announced that the Angels haven’t found any new structural damage in Ramirez’s elbow. The 29-year-old turned in a respectable season before the injury, tossing 147 1/3 innings of 4.15 ERA ball and recording 6.41 K/9 against 2.99 BB/9, to go with a 51.4 percent groundball rate.