Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Atlanta has made the free-agent outfielder their top priority this winter.
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 Braves had hoped to bring Hunter along with the 28-year-old Upton to Atlanta, but now must focus their sights on the older Upton brother. The center fielder hit .246/.298/.454 with a career-high twenty-eight home runs for the Rays this year, and stole over thirty bases for the fifth consecutive season.
Upton has never quite lived up to the promise shown in his 2007 season – when he hit .300/.386/.500 with twenty-four home runs as a 22-year-old – but he is still a productive player. Upton’s on-base skills have declined significantly at his strikeout numbers have increased, but he is still a .255/.336/.422 hitter for his career and he steals bases at a seventy-seven percent clip.