The Toronto Blue Jays have added some strength to their lineup by acquiring outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Class A pitching prospect Hansel Rodriguez.
According to the Jays General Manger Ross Atkins, this move will allow the team to be flexible in the outfield, as it will provide an opportunity to rest Kevin Pillar, Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista, who just came of the disabled list on Monday.
Upton, who is 31-years-old, is coming over from the National League with 16 homeruns, 20 stolen bases, 45 runs batted in and an average of .259 in 92 games played this season. So Toronto will also be given an added boost to their batting order.
The 19-year-old Rodriguez was ranked Toronto’s 18th top prospect in their minor league system as San Diego invests in pitching towards their future.
It just so happens that the Padres are playing north of the border for the first time in major league history, as they are currently in a three-game set after dropping the first one 4-2 at Rogers Centre.
The trade also has the Padres paying a significant amount of the $22 million that remains on Upton’s contract.
It’s also expected that Melvin Upton Jr. could suit up immediately for the Blue Jays when they play game two against San Diego with Marcus Stroman on the mound.
First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre.
The Toronto Blue Jays are now two-and-a-half games out of first place in the American League East and they are currently sitting in the second wild-card spot with 62 games left to play this season.
— Melvin Upton Jr. (@MelvinUptonJr) July 26, 2016