Potential Target: Justin Upton
In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.
Target: Justin Upton, OF
2015 stats: .251 batting average, .336 on-base percentage, .454 slugging percentage, 26 doubles, 26 home runs, 81 RBIs, 19 stolen bases
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The Rangers need some help in left field, and that can't be debated. They have Josh Hamilton under contract, with the Los Angeles Angels actually paying every cent of his $20 million-plus salary for 2016, so isn't that fun? The only bad thing about that is that Hamilton can't be counted on to stay healthy. When he is healthy, which will most likely be for no more than 100 games, he's incredibly streaky. So, is he a usable player in left? Of course he is. But the Rangers need help there, and not just a spare helper like Ryan Strausborger, I mean a real helper.
Upton would be shooting for the moon and would relegate Hamilton to fourth outfielder status, but seeing the Rangers pay $15-$20 million a year for Upton is hard to envision at this time, even with Hamilton being literally free.
He's a good player, but he hasn't lived up to his hype over the past few years as one of the best young outfielders in the game, and now, he's 28 years old.
The Rangers might sniff around at Upton, but don't expect them to make a real serious run.