Braves take gamble with Upton

Updated: November 29, 2012, 11:01 AM ET
By Buster Olney

On Aug. 10 of the 2012 season, B.J. Upton had 10 homers, to go along with a .298 on-base percentage. At that trajectory, he was on pace for a season of 15 homers, 155 strikeouts, a .378 slugging percentage and 30 stolen bases. It wasn't long after that that a long-time general manager guessed that Upton's deal in free agency would be for about two years and $16 million, or possibly as much as $18 million.

But Upton smashed two homers on Aug. 11, in the Rays' 112th game, and over Tampa Bay's last 50 games he clubbed 18 homers. There's no way of knowing precisely what that burst of power did for Upton's value in the market, but it's probably safe to say that the rush of offense seemed to help significantly.