Detroit Tigers: Justin Upton is a better long-term fit than J.D. Martinez
Heading into the offseason, Martinez will hit free agency. Per Spotrac, he’s making $11.75 million this season.
This is all purely speculative obviously, but it seems like the outfielder will be in for a hefty pay raise given his elite offensive ability.
Upton, meanwhile, is making $22.125 million this year according to Spotrac. If he opts into the rest of his contract, he’ll be making that same rate per year for the next four seasons.
Obviously if he opts out, he’ll reach free agency, but there’s at least somewhat of a known factor in terms of what Upton’s salary could be moving forward.
If he continues to hit in the middle of Detroit’s lineup and provide solid defense and base running, $22.125 million seems a perfectly reasonable rate for Upton.
Over course, the Tigers could conceivably end up keeping both outfielders.
Money due to Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Francisco Rodriguez will come off the books, and Anibal Sanchez is another potential free agent should Detroit decide to buy out the last year of his deal.
In other words, there might be some extra cash to play with.
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However, if the Detroit Tigers have to pick between one of the two, they should go with Justin Upton due to his better all-around play.