New York Yankees have reportedly been interested in signing free agent outfielder Justin Upton. During the 2015 season Upton hit .251 with 26 home runs and 81 RBI in 150 games for the San Diego Padres. Upton was an All-Star in 2015, but it was still a down year offensively with just 136 hits his lowest since 2010.
Upton through his agent has said he is looking for a long term contract. The Yankees could be a long term home for Upton, but it may come with a low 2016 salary. As the Yankees have expiring contracts after the 2016 season and would have the money to offer Upton 20 million a season. If Upton decides to sign with the Yankees he may have to take a lower salary in 2016, but the remaining years on his contract would have a much higher salary.
The Yankees farm system is not stacked like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs so signing players in free agency is one of the main ways the Yankees organization obtains their players. Upton, 28, is still a relatively young player and has had success at the major league level. Signing Upton would be a huge win for the Yankees with aging veterans the team needs younger core players.
On paper Upton seems like a good fit for the Yankees, but it all depends on the type of money and length of deal Upton is looking to receive. The Yankees have already made mistakes before and given players too long of contracts and had to sit through it. They do not want to make the same mistake with Upton and have to sit through two or three years of a below average Upton while he’s making 20-25 million a season. Most likely Upton will have an opt out clause in his contract and that will benefit both parties. Upton can choose to leave after a certain amount of seasons and then the Yankees would not have to possibly sit through another bad contract. This deal sounds like a good investment for both Upton and the Yankees, but now we wait and see if someone will try and outbid the Yankees.