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Justin Upton designated for assignment; $28 million still owed for 2022 salary

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The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have designated outfielder Justin Upton for assignment. 

Upton, 34, signed a five-year deal with the team in 2017, worth $106 million. He is owed the remainder of that salary, which would be $28 million for the 2022 season. Assuming he does not accept a minor league designation by the Angels organization, Upton will become a free agent. 

If he is claimed by another team, they will assume the entirety of his 2022 salary.

2022 would be the final year of that contract, which came after Upton was traded to the Angels via the Detroit Tigers in August of 2017, a season where he would be named to his fourth All-Star Game, and win his third Silver Slugger Award. 

Upton's time with the Angels was constantly mired by injury, and since 2018 he managed to take the field in just 194 games over the last three seasons. 

The move opens up room in a crowded Angels outfield, with young stars and former prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh battling for playing time over the previous couple of seasons. 

Now, each will likely slot into either corner outfield position with perennial MVP-favorite Mike Trout manning his native centerfield. 

In 15 MLB seasons, Upton, the former No.1 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has collected 1,748 hits, 324 homers and 1,000 RBIs to the tune of a .262/.343/.471 slash line. He also has 151 career stolen bases.

In a corresponding move, the Angels reinstated relief pitcher Ty Buttrey from the restricted list. He had previously opted to retire from baseball despite being just 28 at the time of his announcement.

He announced his return to the game in January. 

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