ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton on a five-year contract through the 2017 season. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Upton, 28, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Tampa Bay Rays and owns a .255 lifetime batting average with 118 home runs, 447 RBI and 232 stolen bases in 966 games.
Since his first full season in 2007, Upton is the only player in the major leagues to compile at least 100 home runs (114) and steal at least 200 bases (217). In that six-season span he has averaged 19 home runs, 71 RBI and 36 stolen bases per year. In 2012 he belted a career-high 28 home runs with 31 steals in 146 games for the Rays.
Upton has compiled 195 stolen bases over the last five seasons (since 2008), which ranks fourth in the majors. His stolen base success rate of 77.4% ranks third in the majors since 2008 (minimum 250 attempts).
He led all American League center fielders in assists in 2008 (16) and 2012 (10) and his 52 career assists from the center field position rank seventh among active players.
“We are thrilled to add B.J. Upton to our club,” Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. “B.J. is an outstanding defensive player who also adds the power dimension to our offense from the center field position. We have been working to increase the speed and athleticism across our team and B.J. gives us another young, dynamic player.”
Selected by Tampa Bay as the second overall pick in the 2002 draft, Upton made his Major League debut with the Rays in 2004 at the age of 19. He was a part of three postseason clubs while with Tampa Bay, including a World Series appearance with the Rays in 2008, when he batted .273 with 44 stolen bases.