WHOA. This is crazy!
Justin Upton has long been regarded as a premier power hitter within the game.
This season, he is slashing .279/.362/.542 with 28 home runs, good for a 138 wRC+ (38% above average at the plate). This season, he has 10 defensive runs saved to go along with a 2.4 UZR.
He carries with him a 4.1 fWAR and a 5.0 bWAR.
Update: The trade has been completed, per Jon Morosi. The Angels are acquiring Justin Upton.
Going to Detroit is Grayson Long, who had been killing it in double-A.
Long has a 2.52 ERA (3.07 FIP) in 23 starts in double-A.
Update: It looks like the deal is done in its entirety.
Upton has 4 years, $88.5 million left on his contract, though he has an opt-out after this season. Reportedly, he wanted to opt-out to go to a contender.
He has not given assurances to the Angels that he would opt-in. However, he did not have the Angels as a team on his no-trade list.
My quick take? Justin Upton is a feared power hitter. Inserting him behind Mike Trout deepens and deadens the lineup, a necessary step given the Angels offensive woes at times this season. Given that he opts-in, a power-hitter for 4 years, $88 million is a ‘necessary evil’ around market price for a slugger of his caliber. It also helps immensely in the AL wild card race this season, which is an added bonus.
Grayson Long, on the other hand, has killed it in double-A, posting excellent K/BB, ERA, and FIP marks in a large sample size. He will be a back-end MLB starter someday, and probably a successful one. Given the excess of rotation options the Angels had, they likely would not have been able to guarantee a big-league rotation spot for him next year, and internally, they regard Jaime Barria as a more significant future piece.