The Phillies have made it clear B.J. Upton is the team’s top priority in free agency. He’s 28-years-old, right handed and can hit for power. He seems like the perfect candidate to hit behind Ryan Howard. Upton would fit in perfectly with the current Phillies lineup, but for all the wrong reasons.
Upton hasn’t hit over .250 since 2008. He’s had at least 150 strikeouts since 2009, 169 last season being the highest. To put the numbers in perspective, Upton had 633 plate appearances last year. That means he struck out just about every 4 times he went to the plate. This Phillies team already struggles to put men on base. Adding Upton to the equation makes them worse in that aspect.
Upton finished last season with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs. More power from the right side of the plate would improve the Phillies, but at a high price. A report on Twitter, albeit from a fake account, had the Phillies signing Upton to a 6-year, $98 million deal. The report was a hoax, but Upton is sure to get at least that much money. Twenty-eight homers and 78 RBIs don’t add up to $98 million.
This offseason offers limited options in the free agent market. Upton and fellow outfielder Michael Bourn are incredible talents in the outfield, but are sure to be overpaid. If Upton and Bourn aren’t the answer, who can the Phillies sign?
Angel Pagan is the best option for the Phillies. He’s 31-years-old. He has a few years left and would come at a much cheaper price. His power numbers are much lower than Upton’s, 8 home runs and 56 RBIs, but he batted .288 last year. Pagan also struck out 72 less times than Upton having 26 more plate appearances.
Pagan would save the Phillies more than a few million dollars and fits better into the lineup. I wouldn’t be upset to see Upton or Bourn added to the team, but not for the money they’re projected to get. The money saved by signing Pagan would allow the Phillies to fill other roster holes in the bullpen and at 3rd base.Tags: Angel Pagan, BJ Upton, Michael Bourn, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Howard