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Detroit Tigers Add Yet Another Slugger with Justin Upton Signing

Justin Upton an outfielder free agent has agreed to a six-year deal with the Detroit Tigers for $132.75 million pending a physical.

This deal includes a clause of opting out that could give Upton the opportunity to return to being a free agent following the 2017 season at the age of 30.

It appeared as if Yoenis Cespedes would be the league’s next prominent free agent signing, but Detroit signed Upton to a new deal paying him over $22.125 million per each of the six years of his contract.

Amidst speculation, Detroit might rebuild following a disappointing last place 74-87 record in the American League Central, the team is restocking under owner Mike Ilitch and going for the title.

Jordan Zimmerman a starting pitcher was signed early during the offseason, the Tigers then added Mike Pelfrey another starter and picked up Mark Lowe a setup pitcher and Francisco Rodriguez a closer followed by Cameron Maybin an outfielder before Upton’s signing on Monday.

This is not a first for the Tigers under Ilitch of adding a big bat in free agency late in the offseason. In 2012, in late January they signed first baseman Prince Fielder after they lost Victor Martinez to a knee injury.

Upton is just 28. He will provide the Tigers with consistent offense in the batting order even though his strikeouts average 144 per season. He is eighth amongst outfielders in MLB with 173 homers since 2008.

Prior to Monday, Detroit appeared it would go with J.D. Martinez in right, Anthony Gose in left with Maybin playing center. With Upton added to the mix, Gose and Maybin could platoon in center to help avoid the over exposure of either one.

The Tigers will have to give San Diego draft pick compensation for signing Upton since the Padres gave a qualifying offer to Upton last month that he declined.

However, that will not bother Detroit too much since their first pick overall, No. 9 in the draft, is protected due to them finishing with one of the 10 worst MLB records last season, and they had already lost their pick from the second round as their compensation for the signing of Zimmerman.

Detroit remains old in certain places with Martinez 37, Ian Kinsler will be 34 this June and superstar Miguel Cabrera turns 33 in April.

However, the batting order looks very imposing when on paper and that could help them move past Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota and give Kansas City a run for their money if they are able to get some good pitching.

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