While the Atlanta Braves are still pursuing multiple options, including Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton and Angel Pagan, to fill their void in center field, former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton remains their top free agent choice, reports Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Braves are pursuing multiple options at center field, both through free agency and the trade market, but B.J. Upton has emerged as their top free agent choice.
Braves general manager Frank Wren admitted that the team likes Upton, but added that at this point in the offseason "you’ve got a lot of lines in the water." He doesn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket, as he notes that there needs to be "enough lines out there that you catch a fish."
Upton visited with the Braves last Thursday and spent six hours touring Turner Field and its facilities. The free agent was shown the inner workings of Atlanta’s organization and the team then took him out for a steak dinner in downtown Atlanta.
Upton, 28, hit .246/.298/.454 with 29 doubles and 28 home runs last season for the Rays, and he owns a career line of .255/.336/.422 over eight seasons at the major league level.