What Happened to Justin Upton?

Kevin Smith

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What Happened to Justin Upton?

Justin Upton is a veteran Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder who has played for several teams throughout his career. He has been a consistent performer and has shown flashes of greatness, but his recent stint with the Los Angeles Angels did not go as well as expected.

Upton was designated for assignment by the Angels on April 2, 2022, and subsequently released on April 8. We will explore what happened to Justin Upton, his performance with the Angels, and what his future in the MLB might look like.

Justin Upton’s Tenure With the Los Angeles Angels

Justin Upton joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2017, signing a five-year contract worth $106 million. He was expected to provide a powerful presence in the middle of the team’s lineup and contribute both offensively and defensively.

During his tenure with the Angels, Upton played primarily as a left fielder but also saw some time in right field and designated hitter. In his five years with the Angels, Upton played in 543 games and had 1,908 plate appearances.

He hit .232 with 75 home runs, 203 runs batted in (RBIs), and a .777 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). He also accumulated 1.8 wins above replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference.

Upton’s performance in 2021 was below his career averages, as he hit .211 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs, and a .693 OPS in 124 games. He also struggled with injuries, missing time with a back strain and a concussion.

In 2022, Upton played in just four games before being designated for assignment, hitting .154 with one home run and one RBI.

His struggles at the plate and the emergence of younger players on the team likely contributed to the Angels’ decision to move on from him.

Designation for Assignment and Release

When a player is designated for assignment, it means that the team is removing him from the 40-man roster and has seven days to trade him, release him, or place him on waivers. If the player clears waivers and is not claimed by another team, he can be released and become a free agent.

On April 2, 2022, the Los Angeles Angels designated Justin Upton for assignment, giving them seven days to make a decision about his future with the team.

On April 8, Upton cleared waivers, meaning that no other team claimed him, and he was subsequently released, making him a free agent.

There were likely multiple reasons why the Angels made the decision to designate Upton for assignment. Upton’s production had declined in recent years, and he was struggling at the plate in the early part of the 2022 season.

Additionally, the Angels have a number of young outfielders who are vying for playing time, including Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, and Juan Lagares.

By moving on from Upton, the Angels may be looking to give these younger players more opportunities to develop and contribute at the major league level.

After clearing waivers, Upton was released by the Angels and became a free agent. As a free agent, he is now able to sign with any team that is interested in his services.

However, given his recent struggles and declining production, it remains to be seen what kind of interest Upton will generate on the open market.

Upton’s Future in the Mlb

As a free agent, Justin Upton has several possible scenarios for his future in the MLB. He may choose to retire, especially if he feels that he cannot contribute at a high level or if he wants to spend more time with his family.

Alternatively, he may choose to continue playing and could sign with another team, either as a regular starter or as a bench player.

Despite his struggles in recent years, Upton still has value as a player due to his power potential and experience in the league.

He has a career .831 OPS and has hit 298 home runs over his 15-year career. Additionally, Upton is known for his strong arm in the outfield and his ability to play multiple positions.

Potential landing spots for Upton could include teams that are looking for outfield depth or veteran leadership. The San Francisco Giants, for example, have a need for outfield help and could benefit from Upton’s experience and power potential.

The New York Mets, who have been dealing with injuries to their outfielders, could also be a potential fit for Upton. Other teams that could be in the market for outfield help include the Cleveland Guardians, the Seattle Mariners, and the Detroit Tigers.

Ultimately, Upton’s landing spot will depend on a variety of factors, including team needs, available roster spots, and his willingness to accept a role as a bench player.

Here’s a Table Summarizing Justin Upton’s Statistics During His Five-year Tenure With the Los Angeles Angels:


This table shows the number of games played (G), at-bats (AB), hits (H), home runs (HR), runs batted in (RBI), batting average (AVG), and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) for each year of Upton’s tenure with the Angels. As you can see, Upton’s performance declined significantly in the later years of his contract, particularly in 2020 and 2022.


What kind of contract was Justin Upton on with the Angels?

Upton signed a five-year, $106 million contract with the Angels in November 2017. The contract included an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, but Upton chose to remain with the team.

How did Upton perform in the 2021 season?

In the 2021 season, Upton had a .204 batting average with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs over 119 games played. His performance was somewhat inconsistent throughout the season, with some strong stretches and some prolonged slumps.

Was Upton well-liked by Angels fans and teammates?

Upton was generally well-liked by Angels fans and teammates during his time with the team. He was known for his positive attitude and his willingness to mentor younger players.

How does Upton’s career compare to his brother, B.J. Upton?

Justin Upton has had a more successful career than his brother, B.J. Upton. Justin has a career .831 OPS and has hit 298 home runs over his 15-year career, while B.J. had a career .707 OPS and hit 164 home runs over his 12-year career.

What are Upton’s career highlights?

Upton has been selected to four All-Star teams over his career and has won three Silver Slugger awards. He also finished fourth in the National League MVP voting in 2011, when he hit .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs for the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Justin Upton’s tenure with the Los Angeles Angels came to an end when he was designated for assignment on April 2, 2022, and subsequently released on April 8.

Upton struggled in the early part of the 2022 season, and the emergence of younger players on the Angels likely contributed to the team’s decision to move on from him.

As a free agent, Upton has several possible scenarios for his future in the MLB, including retirement or signing with a new team.

Despite his declining production in recent years, Upton still has value as a player due to his power potential and experience in the league.

It will be interesting to see where Upton lands and how he contributes to his new team, should he choose to continue playing.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

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