Padres keep rebuilding by trading Upton to Blue Jays - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Padres keep rebuilding by trading Upton to Blue Jays

Posted: Updated:
In this June 7, 2016, file photo, San Diego Padres' Melvin Upton Jr. watches his RBI line-out against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning of a baseball game, in San Diego. In this June 7, 2016, file photo, San Diego Padres' Melvin Upton Jr. watches his RBI line-out against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning of a baseball game, in San Diego.

TORONTO (AP) — Outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. was already in Toronto with the San Diego Padres when they traded him across the diamond to the Blue Jays.

Joining his new team was a lot more complicated than walking down the hall.

The Blue Jays acquired Upton Jr. and cash from the Padres on Tuesday in exchange for minor league right-hander Hansel Rodriguez

Upton couldn't join Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins for an early afternoon press conference because he was at the nearest border crossing, in Buffalo, New York, being cleared to re-enter Canada.

When he arrived with the Padres on Sunday night, Upton was treated as a visitor. As a member of the Blue Jays, he requires a work visa to enter Canada.

Upton has had a big season for the rebuilding Padres, who are mired in fourth place in the NL West. He is hitting .256 with 16 home runs, 45 RBIs, 46 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. He's hit three walk-off home runs.

"What attracted us to him was several things," Atkins said. "The defense at all three positions, speed, base-running, base-stealer, power, versatility and depth."

Toronto is 56-44, three games behind Baltimore in the AL East. The Blue Jays hold the second wild-card spot.

Upton is in the fourth year of a five-year, $75.25 million contract he signed with the Braves before the 2013 season. He's owed $16.45 million next season.

The Padres will reportedly pay all but $5 million of the $22.5 million remaining on Upton's contract.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller and Atkins said the deal had been in the works for a few weeks, with Toronto reaching out in mid-June after slugger Jose Bautista went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left big toe. Bautista returned Monday.

Upton has rejuvenated his career after struggling with the Braves.

"He's played well," Preller said. "He's really played both sides of the ball. He has a chance to be a 30-30 guy. He's hit some big home runs in some big spots and has played tremendous defense for us in left field."

Two of Toronto's three current outfielders, Bautista and All-Star Michael Saunders, are free agents at the end of this season.

In the short term, Atkins said he expects Upton to be used as a part-time player, pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

"It would likely take an injury for him to turn into an everyday outfielder with us," Atkins said.

Atkins said the Blue Jays are "not done in any way" when it comes to trades, with an emphasis on improving the pitching staff.

"There's not one team we haven't contacted on several occasions," he said, adding that regular talks are ongoing with five to 10 teams.

The Padres got Upton and closer Craig Kimbrel in a trade with Atlanta on the eve of opening day 2015. Upton missed a good deal of last season with a foot injury. His brother, Justin, also was with the Padres last season.

Kimbrel was traded to Boston in the offseason for prospects and Justin Upton left as a free agent.

The 19-year-old Rodriguez was 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts for the Rookie-Level Bluefield Blue Jays.

With trade rumors swirling, Upton sat out San Diego's last two games, including Monday's 4-2 loss at Toronto.

Toronto will make a roster move to open a spot for Upton before Tuesday's game.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.