Reported Justin Upton signing makes Tigers lineup even stronger

January 19, 2016 - 5:14 am

[caption id="attachment_37614" align="alignright" width="150"] Justin Upton[/caption] Former Diamondbacks, Braves and Padres slugger Justin Upton apparently is taking his talents to the American League. According to The Associated Press, Upton inked a deal on Monday with the Tigers that will earn him $132.75 million over six years and reportedly will include a player option that can be used after two seasons. He rounds out a trio of significant offseason acquisitions for the Tigers, as they also signed right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmerman and bolstered their bullpen by trading for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Upton will add more power to an already dangerous Detroit lineup that includes Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and 2015 breakout J.D. Martinez. He also will fill a void in the outfield that was created when the Tigers dealt slugger Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline last year. Upton smacked 26 home runs to go with 81 RBIs last season, but he batted just .251, his lowest batting average since 2008. This raises the important question for Detroit: Is he worth the money? Local writers seem to think so. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press wrote, "Upton, 28, is a three-time All-Star still in the prime of his career. He is a powerful forces at the plate and offers protection to the team's biggest potential pitfall entering 2016: The health of 37-year-old designated hitter Victor Martinez." Lynn Henning of The Detroit News wrote, "Upton brings defense, speed, extra-base power, and a quiver full of game-changing skills the Tigers almost had to brandish if they were going to match up with other division lineups."