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Phillies rumors: Philadelphia favorite to sign B.J. Upton

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The Phillies are the early favorite to sign free agent center fielder B.J. Upton.

J. Meric

The Philadelphia Phillies are the early favorite to sign free agent center fielder B.J. Upton, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:

Baseball officials still see the Nationals as the favorites for Bourn, while the Phillies are seen as an early favorite for Upton.

After trading away starters Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence this summer, the Phillies are left with several holes in their outfield entering the offseason. The club was expected to pursue free agent help at the position, but it wasn’t clear what type of investment they would make considering their disappointing 2012 campaign.

Heyman notes that while the Phillies could pursue multiple outfielders this winter, at least one of them will have to be able to man center. He hears that Upton’s price tag could be somewhere in the $60 million range over five seasons.

Despite just turning 28 in August, Upton has been in the majors for eight seasons. He hit .246/.298/.454 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs and 31 stolen bases in 37 attempts last season for the Tampa Bay Rays, and owns a career line of .255/.336/.422.