Upton wants to stay with Rays, but wouldn’t mind playing with Zimmerman
Center fielder B.J. Upton told Craig Heist of WTOP in Washington that he would love to stay with the Rays, but would not be surprised if he was traded after the season.
Upton also said that he wouldn’t mind playing close to home and with his childhood friend, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The two grew up together playing Little League Baseball in Virginia.
“I would love to be [in Tampa],” Upton said. “But I can’t sit here and say there is not a possibility that I could be gone. Like I said, I love this organization. They have given me the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. They are obviously the team that drafted me. I would love to be here.
“If I’m not, playing in Washington would kind of be playing close to home. I just want to play anywhere. … Since you brought up Washington, it would be kind of cool to play close to home and definitely play with the guy in Ryan Zimmerman that I played with growing up. That would be kind of a cool thing. I’ve known him for a long time. … To be on the team with him and playing in the division [against Mets third baseman] David Wright, who I also grew up with, that would be a cool thing, but right now, my heart is with the Rays.”
Zimmerman made it known in late July that he would love to play with his Upton. There has been speculation for weeks that the Nationals have been interested in the right-handed-hitting Upton.
Back in July, Zimmerman said he did not talk to Upton about the possibility of playing close to home. During the offseason, however, Upton sometimes told Zimmerman how lucky he is to play close to home.
“It would be different and I think it would be fun, but when it comes down to it, the most important thing is to get guys who can help us win,” Zimmerman said. “B.J. is a very talented player. I think a lot of people still think he is going to improve a lot. He has all the tools. He is one of those guys who can run, throw and hit for power. He is a very gifted athlete.”