Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Upton returns to AL East

TORONTO — OF Melvin Upton Jr. was already in Toronto with the Padres when they traded him across the diamond to the Blue Jays.

Joining his new team was a lot more complicated than walking down the hall.

The Blue Jays acquired the former Rays outfielder and cash from San Diego on Tuesday in exchange for minor-league RHP Hansel Rodriguez.

Upton couldn't join Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins for an early afternoon news conference because he was at the nearest border crossing, in Buffalo, N.Y., being cleared to re-enter Canada.

When he arrived with the Padres on Sunday night, Upton was treated as a visitor. As a member of the Blue Jays, he requires a work visa to enter Canada.

Upton has had a bounceback season for the Padres. A bust for the Braves after signing a five-year, $75.25 million contract before the 2013 season, he is hitting .256 with a .304 on-base percentage and a .439 slugging percentage in 92 games while playing his home games at notorious pitcher's haven Petco Park.

"What attracted us to him was several things," Atkins said. "The defense at all three positions, speed, baserunning, base-stealer, power, versatility and depth."

Upton, 31, was a first-round pick, second overall, of Tampa Bay in the 2002 draft. He played eight seasons with the Rays and batted .255/.336/.422 in 966 games.

Later, Toronto acquired former Rays RH reliever Joaquin Benoit from the Mariners for RH reliever Drew Storen and cash.

FAN HURT: A 75-year-old woman was taken to a hospital after being hit in the face with a foul ball by the Nationals' Daniel Murphy in Cleveland. Muir West's glasses were broken, and she received a cut on her face, a family member said.

D'BACKS: RHP Zack Greinke, out since June 29 with a left oblique strain, is expected to make a rehab start Friday in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

MARLINS: All-Star 2B Dee Gordon is set to return Thursday from an 80-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

REDS: RHP Homer Bailey is set to make his season debut Sunday, completing his comeback from Tommy John surgery in May 2015.

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