clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to minor league deal

The veteran outfielder hasn’t played in a major league game since the 2016 season.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. have agreed to a minor league deal, and the 33-year-old has reportedly passed his physical and is officially heading to Cleveland.

Upton didn’t see any major league action in 2017 after hitting 20 home runs in 149 games with a .693 OPS in 2016, which was split between the Padres and Blue Jays. He would bat just .196 during his time in Toronto.

The Blue Jays released Upton after spring training, and he quickly signed on with the Giants to a minor league deal before suffering a thumb injury that required surgery at the end of April.

Cleveland has a number of candidates to fill their outfield positions, and had tested out Jason Kipnis in center field late in the 2017 season. Michael Brantley, Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer will all likely be a part of a large group competing for starting spots in the spring of 2018, so Upton will have plenty of hurdles to overcome if he wants to crack the Opening Day roster.