With eight games left in the regular season, Phillies fans do not have much to look forward to except the offseason, when Ruben Amaro Jr. and the rest of the front office will attempt to retool for 2013. One of the big needs they will address is center field, where Shane Victorino had started from 2008 until the trade that sent him to the Dodgers in July.
One guy we have highlighted as a potential replacement is B.J. Upton, but as Marc Topkin notes in today's St. Petersburg Times, Upton has some issues.
The important paragraph. . .
But he also has been maddening to watch over the years: Getting picked off, throwing to the wrong base, striking out often and snarling at the umpire, and taking an at-times casual approach that at least makes it look like he is not hustling. (And led to him twice getting benched during the 2008 season.)
Topkin ballparks Upton's value at four-to-seven years at $12-to-$14 million per year. That's a hefty sum for a guy whose tools have far exceeded his offensive production over the last few seasons. I still think a guy like Nick Swisher is the ideal offensive fit for this lineup. Of course, Swisher doesn't play center field, and he is five years older than Upton.
Anyway, thought I'd pass along the story, which provides a tidy retrospective on Upton's career in Tampa Bay.