For Upton, reality of leaving Rays setting in
Heading to the Trop from his Tampa home Wednesday after, B.J. Upton said it finally hit him that after 10 years in the organization today could be his last game with the Rays.
"It may be my last drive to Tropicana Field,'' he said. "Walking by the security guards and the police officers and just kind of wondering, is that it? The clubhouse guys. ... I think it's just now starting to set in.''
Upton is expected to leave for a long-term big-dollar deal - based on the market, maybe something around $12-14-million a year over 4-7 years - elsewhere, but admitted that the change will be an issue.
"This is all I know,'' he said. "I've beeen here almost 10 years. I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. So I guess I'll see what happens. I'm sure I'll have to make some adjustments.''
Asked if he could see staying with the Rays, Upton said: "I don't know, it's not up to me. I guess we'll see what teams are out there and who's interested. If it is the Rays, then great. If they don't give me that opportunity obviously i have to make a decision what's best for me.''
Upton said he hadn't given any thought yet to where he wanted to end up or what terms he was looking for.
His best memories of the Rays came during the 2008 run from worst to first and into the World Series, and he is disappointed this season ended without a trip to the playoffs.
As for his legacy here?
"It's a tough question,'' he said. "I've had so many ups and down herIe, obviously people are going to have their own opinions. But the guys I've played with over the years, they know what they I'm about so maybe you should ask some of them and see what they say.''