(08.20.17 | 11:45 A.M. ET): Two days after a report suggested that he would not opt out of his contract with the Tigers following this season, Tigers outfielder Justin Upton he confirmed once more than he remains undecided on his future.
Upton told reporters after the team’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday that he “can’t make a decision” on his contract situation right now, but he is “not worried about it” with 40 games to go in the regular season.
“It’s always nice to have options, but I think it’s more interesting to you guys than it is to me,” Upton said. “I would feel like I was lying to you guys if I gave you a realistic answer right now, because I haven’t really even thought about it.
Upton continued to emphasize that it will be something he focuses on at season’s end, while the MLB playoffs are taking place. He has seen the Tigers take a severe nosedive, ultimately leading to players being traded away and a rebuild on the horizon.
“Those conversations will be had,” Upton said. “I think all the veterans in here want to know what direction we’re going and the future of the organization. Al’s got an open door and I’m sure guys will try to figure out what’s going on.
“Right now, all that stuff’s a little too early to talk about. We still have baseball games to play. I think Al’s been pretty up front with all the veteran guys here with his plans. He’s pretty open about talking with us about baseball. When the time comes, we’ll figure out what’s next.”
“I think you guys can write a little bit more about it,” he said. “You can have fun with it.”
Through 122 games played, Upton is by and far the team’s most productive and prolific hitter this season. Unfortunately for J-Up, a lot of it has gone unrecognized with the team 16 games under .500 and now 15.5 games back in the American League Central Division, entering play on Sunday.
(08.18.17 | 8:00 P.M. ET): Justin Upton has been one of the bright spots for the Detroit Tigers this season. In a season that most would like to forget, perhaps there is some good news long-term for fans of the Olde English D.
A report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today is suggesting that Upton has “no plans” on leaving Detroit after this season.
Justin Upton has no plans to opt out of his #Tigers contract at the present time
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 18, 2017
Upton signed a contract for over $130 million dollars over six years with the Tigers. However, after just two years in a Detroit uniform, he can opt-out and test the market at the end of this season if he so desires.
Earlier this season, Upton told the Detroit Free Press that he wasn’t considering the opt-out decision. Though as recent as late July, he said that he hasn’t fully decided on whether or not he would opt in to the 2018 season with the Tigers, or opt out and test the free agent waters again.
“I enjoy playing here. I enjoy the guys in the clubhouse. I enjoy the atmosphere, the city. That decision is long down the road, months away.”
Upton sticking around would certainly give Detroit a steady, consistent and prolific bat for the foreseeable future. ESPN shows that, as of today, Upton leads the Tigers in the following categories:
- Batting Average: .278
- Home Runs: 23
- Runs Batted In: 85
- On Base Percentage: .364
- Hits: 115
Here’s hoping J-Up sticks around for a long time!