MLB At Large: I Love the Justin Upton Signing for the Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers signed outfielder Justin Upton to a 6 year, $132 million dollar contract on Monday. The 28 year old spent last season with the Padres. Baseball insiders have been critical of the deal because they view it as too much money for a player who strikes out a lot. What?? I love the deal for the Tigers. It reinforces the notion that they have become one of baseball’s big spenders and owner Mike Ilitch is always going for it. He wants to win again and he went out and added one of the few impact bats left on the open market.

Upton is a tremendous fit for the Tigers. He’ll play left field, a spot the Tigers needed to fill. He is a major upgrade over incumbent Anthony Gose. Upton can hit for power, steal bases and he plays a gold glove caliber defense. Sure, this is the first time he’ll play in the American League, but he’ll adjust. He’s never consistently hit off-speed pitching but I think he’ll make the necessary adjustments and still produce at a high level.

After finishing 74-87 last season, the Tigers are right back in the thick of things in the American League Central thanks to the additions of Upton, Jordan Zimmerman, Cameron Maybin, Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Lowe and Justin Wilson. If Detroit gets any starting pitching, not only will they challenge the Royals for the division title, they’ll also be a World Series contender.

Naysayers think that Comerica park will hurt Upton’s production. I disagree. He has raw power that translates. Upton will hit plenty of home runs at Comerica. He may strike out a lot in the process, but he’ll still hit .275-.280, hit 30 plus homers and drive in 90-100 runs.

The Tigers have sort of flown under the radar this off-season. Sure, signing Jordan Zimmerman was a big move but the addition of Upton is the move that will get people’s attention. He gives them another legit bat in the middle of their line up and it makes them an instant contender. I love this signing for the Tigers.