Justin Upton Gets the Big Bucks With Six-Year, $51.25 Million Deal With Diamondbacks

Justin Upton told the Arizona Diamondbacks to show him the money, and that's exactly what they did -- lots of it.

Yesterday, Upton signed a six-year, $51.25 million contract extension with the D-backs, making him the second-priciest player in the franchise's history.

Randy Johnson was the only Diamondback to sign a larger contract, when he agreed to a $52.4 million deal before the 1999 season. The Diamondbacks went on to win the 2001 World Series with Johnson at the helm, which shows that sometimes you gotta pay to play.

The 22-year-old Upton made the MLB All-Star Game last season after batting an impressive .300, with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs.

Upton seems happy with the deal.

"It's definitely nice," Upton said at a press conference, according to Reuters. "It's one of those things where, with that, comes some responsibility. The pressure is off, but there is a lot to live up to, and I think I'm ready for that. I want to be great, and if you want to be great, you set your goals higher."

D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was happy to see the deal done, noting that contract negotiations had been a distraction.

"He's in elite company. Now that all of this has settled, it's all taken care of, nothing more to talk about contractually until 2014, 2015, let's get back to the baseball and let him develop. He hasn't reached his potential yet. He's a pretty damn good baseball player today, and he's going to get better," Hinch said at the press conference.

The new deal makes Upton the new face of the franchise, and general manager Josh Byrnes tells the Associated Press that Upton "is the kind of guy you want to build around."

For more than 50 million bucks, let's hope so.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King