Padres Trade Melvin Upton Jr. to Blue Jays for Pitching Prospect
The rebuilding continues for the San Diego Padres, who unloaded outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchanged for minor league pitcher Hansel Rodriguez. Upton is making $15.45 million this season and $16.45 million next season, and the Padres will pay all but $5 million of what he’s owed before his contract is up according to MLB Network. The 31-year outfielder is hitting .256 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI’s, and a team-leading 20 stolen bases. Upton was appreciative of the opportunity to resurrect his career in San Diego and excited about the new opportunity.
Thank you to the @Padres organization, fans and teammates for all the support and the opportunity. I enjoyed everything about my time in SD
— Melvin Upton Jr. (@MelvinUptonJr) July 26, 2016
Rodriguez is the latest pitching acquisition for Padres general manager A.J. Preller. The 19-year old right handed pitcher is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts for Bluefield in the Appalachian (Rookie) League. Baseball America rated Rodriguez as Toronto’s 18th best prospect to begin the season.
San Diego has not decided how they will replace Upton Jr. on their roster. Hunter Renfroe is a candidate for promotion, and the right fielder is hitting .331 with a team leading 25 home runs and 87 RBI’s for the El Paso Chihuahuas this season. Renfroe could join a Padres outfield that already features former Chihuahua Alex Dickerson. Another candidate for promotion, center fielder Manny Margot is day-to-day with an oblique injury. El Paso is in Tacoma to begin a four game series with the Raniers. The team will return home next Wednesday. Catch all the action with Tim Hagerty beginning tonight at 8pm.