“I hope not, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t be with all the talks at the deadline, and with this [waiver claim], I don’t see why there wouldn’t be that possibility,” the 27-year-old said. “I don’t want to go anywhere, but if that’s what they want to do it’s out of my hands.”
“I ain’t worried about it. If it happens it happens,” Upton said. “Just like the trade deadline. It’s business as usual and I guess we’ll see what happens in 48 hours.”
It seems to me that BJ Upton does want to stay with the Rays and he would be disappointed if he were to be dealt either this week (waiver claim) or during the offseason. My question is concerning Upton and his not signing a long term deal when the opportunity has been (according to rumors) been discussed. Did the Rays try and lock B.J. up and his agent shied away or are the rumors of a contract offer unfounded and the Rays never went to Upton with a long term offer?
Did Upton have the same feelings of wanting to be a long term member of the Rays after the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, because if so there was a mechanism to work something out as Carl Crawford, James Shields, Evan Longoria, and Wade Davis all found it in their best interest to sign long term deals.
I don't blame Upton for treating his relationship with the Rays as a business, but taking it a step further he had to know what his future held with each passing year toward escalating arbitration and getting closer to free agency. In fact, I'm not certain that the Rays approached B.J. with a long term contract offer.
Back in January, Upton expressed his desire to stay in Tampa:
(On possibly staying in Tampa long-term)"Obviously I'm locked in for the next year. Tampa Bay area is a place I love to be. I've got to meet a lot of people, a lot of good people. I love the area. It's a place I could definitely see myself settling in and living here. If the long-term (deal) happens to come up, I'm definitely open ears for it." -- tbo.com
B.J. seems to reiterate his desire to stay in Tampa as he did the week prior to the trade deadline and his relief afterwards.
"Probably the most nerve-wracking two weeks I've ever had, man," Upton said with a smile. "I've always said I want to be here. I grew up playing with these guys -- a lot of good guys on this team, a good organization. So I'm just glad it's over with. We can move forward and just try to win ballgames." - mlb.com
And Upton admitted that the trade discussion bothered him:
"Definitely a little tougher than I thought it would be," Upton said. "You wake up and that's the first thing you see, trade talks. And obviously I was in them. Come to the field, and that's all you see all over the place. You guys ask me the same thing every day. So yeah, it was definitely tough. I'm just glad it's over."- mlb.com
Did the Rays attempt to negotiate a long term offer for Upton prior to the 2011 season?
Yes (34 votes)
No (51 votes)
Undetermined (29 votes)
114 total votes