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Angels close to trading for Justin Upton, per report

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Justin Upton is reportedly heading to the Angels

The 30-year-old Upton is hitting.279 in his second season with the Tigers, including 29 homers and 94 RBI.

Acquiring Verlander could be what eventually puts the Astros over the hump and gets them into the World Series.

Upton would replace Cameron Maybin in left field. He has been an above-average hitter every season since, accruing four All-Star nods. Without Upton, the team receives almost $90 million in salary relief - though they likely would have received that anyways if Upton opted out of his contract at the end of the season, like many expected. But his deal contains an opt-out clause he can exercise this winter.

The Angels sent minor-league pitcher Grayson Long to Detroit on Thursday.

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According to MLB Pipeline, Long is now the No. 9 prospect in the Angels organization. Long, the Halos #6 prospect, has put together a solid season across AA and A+ this season, owning an 8-8 record and a 2.69 ERA. In each season, their left fielders' collective OPS was among the 10 worst at the position by any team in the last century. Verlander is owed $28 million in each of the next two seasons, and his option for $22 million vests in 2020 if he finishes in the top five of AL Cy Young voting in 2019.

The Tigers will kick in some cash to help cover the rest of Upton's prorated $4 million salary this season. Trout and shortstop Andrelton Simmons, the other franchise cornerstones, are signed through 2020.

Entering Thursday, he owned a share for the American League lead in steals, tied with the Astros' Jose Altuve.

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