The Angels deserve big credit for their bold play to land Justin Upton on deadline day, as owner Arte Moreno had to show a willingness to commit to the $90-plus million to go on Upton’s contract should he not opt out.
The word going around now is that Upton’s decision will hinge on his finish. His 1.017 OPS in the second half has put that opt-out in play.
One thing about his call: Upton is said to be a lot happier with the contending Angels, a team he considered two years ago. However, things “didn’t line up” at the time. Translation: Moreno wasn’t ready to commit that kind of cash. But as the Angels kept outperforming, Moreno was willing to go for it – so good for him.
Brandon Phillips was a major upgrade at minimal expense. When an Angels person said a month ago in this space that they had “limited” interest in Phillips, that was a fair assessment. They gave up only journeyman catcher Tony Sanchez to get him – though they are paying about $700K, as well, including the $500K assignment bonus he is to receive.
Garrett Richards could be the key new man. Mike Trout’s roommate returned Tuesday.Mike Scioscia on Mike Trout: “The best thing about Mike Trout is that he doesn’t chase numbers; he wants to win.” Eppler declined to discuss the team’s intentions regarding the possibility of a long-term deal for Trout.
Since they wouldn’t entertain trade ideas, you’d have to believe they’d try to lock him up longer than they have him.