(ATLANTA) — When the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton to a long-term contract, they felt confident they’d be getting an All-Star caliber outfielder. Instead, they might be forced to send him to the minor leagues so he can get his swing back.
During the offseason, the Braves signed Upton to a five-year deal worth $75.25 million. He had spent the previous eight seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Braves were hoping they’d be signing a player who was still in his prime, and still realizing his full potential. Instead, Upton has been a disaster with the team. He’s hitting .145 in 159 at-bats, and has just eight extra-base hits. His play at the plate has been so poor, the team is considering sending him down to the minors.
“It’s a hard decision. It’s a decision that you take very, very seriously,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You talk collectively with your coaches about it, and it’s something always falls on my shoulders, right? That’s fine. I’m comfortable with that. But you’ve got to think about 25 (players), six staff members, four clubhouse guys, the front office and the fans.”
Meanwhile, B.J.’s brother, Justin Upton, was also acquired by the Braves during the offseason, has flourished in Atlanta. He is second in the National League in home runs.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN