Extension possible for Braves, Justin Upton

This offseason, the Braves already traded Jason Heyward to the Cardinals before his final year ahead of free agency. Fellow outfielder Justin Upton is in the same position, and rumors have been flying that Atlanta will deal him as well.

Yet it’s not a lock that Upton will be wearing a different uniform in 2015, and the slugger could in fact stick around even longer. John Hart, the Braves’ president of baseball operations, appeared on MLB Network Radio on Sunday, and said the club is not involved in active discussions involving Upton or catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis. While Hart downplayed the possibility of a long-term extension for Upton, he also called it “not out of the realm of possibility.”

Upton will make $14.5 million this coming season, at age 27, and will be expensive to retain after that. He’s a career .274/.354/.476 hitter, averaging 24 home runs and 80 RBIs per year since 2009. In ’14, he slammed 29 homers and drove in 102 runs, while posting an .833 OPS.

— Andrew Simon

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