With a brand-new, five-year, $75.25 million contract finalized, outfielder B.J. Upton is excited to be the newest member of the Atlanta Braves. The two parties first met at Turner Field in Atlanta Nov. 15 and Upton was a big fan of how the Braves made him feel welcome and didn't pressure him during the pitch to sign him:
"These guys did a very good job," Upton said. "They made me feel at home. That means more to me than anything."
The Braves did a lot of checks on Upton's background given that the end of his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays was met with a little bit of concern for some teams. When the checks were done, the Braves believed Upton to be the passionate player they needed. What also may have helped the Braves out was including former manager Bobby Cox in the sales pitch:
"Bobby Cox was awesome," Upton said, smiling. "I really didn't know what to expect with him coming in the room. But just sitting down and talking to him, it was like I'd known him for years. That definitely was pretty cool."
There has also been speculation about the Braves attempting to acquire B.J.'s brother, Justin, from the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the Braves would likely have to trade pitcher Tommy Hanson or someone else to free up the payroll needed to acquire Justin Upton, who is owed $38.5 million over the next three seasons.