Today Justin Upton got a six-year $50M contract from the Diamondbacks, and it was well-deserved. Upton seems poised for greatness, and Arizona did the right thing locking him up.
Landing the big bucks hasn’t been so easy for Justin’s brother, Rays center fielder BJ Upton.
BJ was drafted by the Rays in 2002 and signed a $4.6M bonus. He made his major league debut in 2004, playing in 45 games.
In 2007, he blossomed, hitting .300-24-82 with 22 steals. A lot of teams would have responded to a season like that by offering their talented young outfielder a multiyear deal. That’s what the Dbacks did with Justin.
Instead, the Rays decided to reduce BJ’s salary, paying him $10,000 less in 2008. If that’s not a slap in the face, I don’t know what is.
This offseason, the Rays took BJ to arbitration over $300,000 and won. BJ will make $3M.
Don’t get me wrong, BJ doesn’t deserve your pity. He’s making millions of dollars to play a game. Moreover, he’s been hounded by allegations that he doesn’t always hustle.
But it’s interesting how one talented brother is being shown the money while the other has been nickled and dimed.