Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Philadelphia Phillies brought two people who worked with B.J. Upton with the Tampa Bay Rays into prominent roles with the team this offseason, perhaps with hopes it sways the free agent in his decision-making process.
A pair of recent off-field personnel decision by the Philadelphia Phillies may have been made with the intention of attracting B.J. Upton on the free agent market, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The Phillies brought in two people who featured prominently with the Tampa Bay Rays while Upton was with the club: Steve Henderson, who served as Tampa Bay's hitting coach from 2006-2009, is now the Phillies' hitting coach after several years in the organization, and Bart Braun, who worked as a special assignment scout for the Rays, is now an assistant to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
While the Phillies insist that the moves were simply to help improve the organization, Rosenthal reports that the highly coveted free agent noticed the Phillies' decisions. The Phillies are publicly known to be on the market for Upton, and every little bit will help in courting the 28-year-old center fielder who has spent his entire career with the Rays' organization.