With a record of 69-65 and 28 games left to play this season, the Angels are only one game out of playoff position. But the Angels' biggest present weakness was in the middle of their lineup, where Albert Pujols hit third behind superstar Mike Trout. After the August 31 deadline, traded players can't participate in the postseason. Despite the power, Pujols is just hitting.232 on the season and sports a negative WAR on the season.
Verlander has been stellar in the second half of the season and could help a contender in the postseason, but his contract remains an obstacle. One thing is for certain: the Upton deal is part of the greater trend to move in a different direction to reset.
Fantasy Impact Upton has an opt-out clause after this season, but apparently informed the Angels that he does not plan to exercise it.
The Angels are now just a game out of the second wild card spot, held by the Minnesota Twins, another surprise contender this season.
He is owed almost $90 million over the remaining life of his contract, which expires in 2021, and he makes just over $22 million per season.
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