The Tampa Bay Rays have offered outfielder B.J. Upton a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying deal, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Assuming Upton turns down the deal, the offer ensures Rays will secure a compensatory pick in next year's draft.
Upton, 28, hit a career-high 28 homers last season, but also saw his batting average remain in the .240 range. He also struck out a career-high 169 times while posting a sub-.300 on-base percentage for the first time.as a big-leaguer.
Upton is said to be seeking a multi-year deal that would pay upwards of $16 million per campaign. He is one of six players that the team allowed to hit the open market, joining relievers Kyle Farnsworth, J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta and infielders Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Pena. The team will undergo several changes, with only four position players appearing to have jobs nailed down for next season.