Tigers general manager Al Avila says the club is exploring the possibility of signing recently released outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
Upton, 32, was released Sunday by the Blue Jays after not earning a spot on Toronto's 25-man roster. The Blue Jays tried to trade Upton over the 24 hours leading up to his release, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm, and only owed him approximately $1 million of the $16.5 million he is due to earn this season. Upton is expected to clear waivers Wednesday.
Upton hit just .196 with four homers after coming over to the Blue Jays in a trade with San Diego in July, then struggled to a .194 average and .216 OBP in Spring Training this year. Still, the veteran could fill a need for the Tigers as they are currently set to employ a platoon of JaCoby Jones and Andrew Romine in center field and Tyler Collins and Mikie Mahtook in right. Upton could also be reunited with his younger brother Justin, Detroit's left fielder, if he signs with the Tigers.
A No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 MLB Draft by Tampa Bay, Upton is a career .243/.321/.402 hitter with 164 home runs.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.