(NEW YORK) — One the biggest free agents of the 2012 MLB offseason is off the market. The Atlanta Braves have signed centerfielder B.J. Upton to a seven year deal worth $75 million.
Upton is just 28 years old, but spent the past eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, making his Major League debut at 19 years old. He will provide the Braves with speed, defense, and power. Upton will replace Michael Bourn in centerfield.
From a power standpoint, Upton had his best season in 2012. He hit a career high 28 home runs and drove in 78 runs, but batted just .246 with a career high 169 strikeouts. He also posted a career low .298 on base percentage.
Upton’s .246 average is his best since the 2008 season when he hit .273. That was the same year the Rays made it to the World Series.
He will join a core group of players that include Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, and Dan Uggla.
Copyright 2012 News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN