B.J. Upton is Atlanta's top free agent target

J. Meric

B.J. Upton, who has played for the Tampa Bay Rays since 2004, has emerged as Atlanta's top choice on the free agent market.

B.J. Upton has reportedly emerged as the Atlanta Braves' top choice on the free agent market, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Though Upton has never been truly great, and as a consequence, there is some perception he has been a bust, Upton has been consistently very good. Upton posted fWARs of 4.5, 5.0, 2.4, 4.1, 4.1 and 3.3 each of the last six years, and is one of the better center fielders in all of baseball.

Per the AJC's report, team officials, including Frank Wren, Fredi Gonzalez, hitting coach Greg Walker and former Braves manager Bobby Cox have met with Upton and his agent already.

Atlanta expects to receive competition for Upton's services from teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies, and potentially the Texas Rangers, as teams look to bolster their outfield. Upton would certainly benefit from a bidding war between the Phillies and Braves, but with other options available via free agency, the price likely won't reach astronomical proportions.

Josh Hamilton, Angel Pagan, and Michael Bourn are also reportedly still on Atlanta's radar.

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