With Torii Hunter off the market, free agent outfielder B.J. Upton is now the Atlanta Braves' top target this offseason, according to MLB.com's Braves beat writer Mark Bowman:
Braves had visions of signing both Torii Hunter and B.J. Upton. With Hunter off the board, Upton remains their top free agent target.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 14, 2012
The 28-year-old Upton has spent his entire career with the Tampa Bay Rays, making his first appearance in the big leagues in 2004. In 2007, the outfielder showed why he was such a highly touted prospect, hitting .300 with 24 home runs and 82 RBIs in 129 games. He also stole 22 bases.
However, Upton has not had a season that good since. The past four years, his highest average is .246, which occurred last year. For his career, he has a batting line of .255/.336/.422. Upton's biggest asset has been his speed, as he has stolen over 30 bases five years in a row.
Atlanta is looking to fill several outfield slots with Michael Bourn going to free agency and Martin Prado moving to third base due to the retirement of Chipper Jones. While Upton has been somewhat of a disappointment in his career, he would provide some needed power and speed.