The Tigers have agreed to a 6-year, $132.75 million contract with free-agent outfielder Justin Upton, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was the first to report discussions between the sides earlier tonight, and adds that Upton will receive an opt-out after the 2017 season.
Upton's market has been relatively murky to this point, with the Rangers and Orioles among the teams showing interest. At first glance, the Tigers appear as a surprising entrant into the race, though owner Mike Ilitch's willingness to spend big on free agents is nothing new.
Upton will join Anthony Gose, Cameron Maybin and J.D. Martinez in the Tigers' outfield, taking over the left field spot alongside Maybin and Martinez in the starting group. He is the latest significant addition for the Tigers, who have also signed Jordan Zimmermann, Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Mike Aviles while trading for Maybin, Francisco Rodriguez and Justin Wilson this winter.
Upton, 28, is a lifetime .271/.352/.473 hitter with 190 home runs in 9 major-league seasons with the Diamondbacks (2007-13), Braves (2013-14) and Padres (2014-15). He has been an All-Star on three occasions and is considered one of the game's most naturally talented players.
Upton is the latest major free-agent outfielder to sign this winter, joining Jason Heyward (Cubs), Alex Gordon (Royals), Denard Span (Giants) and Gerardo Parra (Rockies). Yoenis Cespedes is the last remaining major free-agent outfielder, with Dexter Fowler and Austin Jackson serving as less expensive options for teams looking for help.