Phillies interested in B.J. Upton

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia Phillies, in need of a upgrade at center field, met with free agent B.J. Upton earlier this week and are said to 'love him.'

The Philadelphia Phillies are pursing free agent center fielder B.J. Upton, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Upton met with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel earlier this week.

The Phillies are in need of a center fielder for next season as there is not currently one on the roster. Upton, 28, is the youngest center fielder on the market, and a five-tool player. While Upton's on-base percentage dropped to .298 last season and his batting average of .246 was his highest since 2008, he set a career high in home runs (28), while slugging .454 and stealing 31 bases. His power could potentially increase in hitter-friendly Citizens' Bank Park. He is also a plus defender, something not lost on a team with one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. He would also add some balance to a lineup that is heavy on lefthanded hitters.

The Phillies are far from Upton's only suitor. There are reports that Upton has also met with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

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