B.J. Upton: Headed for free agency?

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The homegrown star has just over a week left with Tampa, unless plans change in free agency.

B.J. Upton's time with the Tampa Bay Rays could be coming to a close. With the Rays organization unlikely to bid on the soon-to-be free agent's market value, nor make an offer for as many years as the former No. 2 pick in the 2002 Draft would demand, Upton might leave the only MLB team he's ever known: (from of the Tampa Bay Times)

"I've talked often about how there's no fear in his game, no fear at all," manager Joe Maddon said. "I also believe he has matured annually. He has become a better baseball player every year, to the point that where he's at right now, he is the best he's been.

Upton's stellar 2012 campaign is ironically one of the reasons he'll likely leave the Rays. He has a chance to be the first player in Rays history to lead the team in homers, RBIs and stolen bases in a season. Along with Mike Trout, he's the only major leaguer with 25 homers and 30 steals, and he's been red hot at the plate. He has hit 16 homers in his last 41 games, which is the most in MLB during that span.

For more on B.J. Upton and the Tampa Bay Rays, check out Baseball Nation and DRays Bay.

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