Justin Upton agrees to new $106M contract to stay with Angels

Justin Upton (center) will stay with the Angels for the next five seasons after agreeing to a new contract. (AP)

The champagne hasn’t even dried from Game 7 of the World Series, but baseball’s Hot Stove is already cooking. The Los Angeles Angels announced Thursday morning that they’ve worked out a deal with outfielder Justin Upton to keep him in uniform until 2022.

Upton, 30, would have been able to opt out of his current contract — but the Angels like what they saw of Upton so much in the end of 2017 that they weren’t going to risk losing him. So instead of free agency, he gets $106 million over the next five seasons, according to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown:

Upton hit .273/.361/.540 with 35 homers and 109 RBIs last season with the Angels and Detroit Tigers. He was traded to Anaheim at the deadline and hit seven homers in 27 games for the Angels, who see him as a long-term complement to Mike Trout in the outfield.

Upton’s original contract, signed before the 2016 season with the Tigers, was worth $132.75 over six years. So the Angels are giving him more money, but not a tremendous amount of it. The yearly payout, per ESPN’s Buster Olney, will be: $16M in 2018, $18M in 2019, $21M in 2020, $23M in 2021 and $28M in 2022.

The more pressing question for the Angels is whether they can compete now with Upton in the fold long-term and Trout under contract for three more seasons. The Angels were better than expected, going 80-82 this season. Upton alone probably won’t be enough for the Angels to compete in the AL West, from which the Astros just won the World Series, but he could be the start of something. They’ll need some pitching too.

They are on the hook for Albert Pujols’ monster contract still too, which means the Angels will be paying about $50 million each year through 2021 just for Upton and Pujols. You have to wonder how much payroll ownership is willing to take on.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!