MLB roundup: Upton Jr. might be interesting option for Giants' outfield hole

Melvin Upton Jr., who has 16 homers and 44 RBIs this season for Padres, could be an interesting replacement for Hunter Pence. Icon Sportswire, Getty Images

The setback suffered by Hunter Pence in his rehab has prompted San Francisco to begin re-examining the market of outfielders -- the usual names like Jay Bruce, etc. What follows is speculation: Melvin Upton Jr. could be an interesting option for the Giants, because he has completely transformed as a player this year, in his production and his performance. In a perfect world for the Giants, any addition would be a right-handed hitter because of the predominance of left-handed hitters in their lineup, and Upton -- a right-handed hitter -- would add speed, power and positional flexibility.

In the end, it may well be impossible for the Padres and Giants to find a middle ground on Upton's value and his contract. He's owed about $6 million for the rest of this season, and $16.45 million next season, and if the Giants are interested, it's possible San Francisco would want San Diego to offset some of that, or take a little less in a prospect package.

Upton is hitting .263 this season, with 29 extra-base hits and a .312 on-base percentage, plus 20 stolen bases. He ranks in the top 20 in Fangraphs’s baserunning assessment, and rates very well on defense, too. "He looks completely different," said one evaluator.

The addition of Upton Jr. would plug an immediate need for the Giants, while giving them some flexibility for 2017, after Angel Pagan departs as a free agent this fall. For the Padres, a deal makes sense because San Diego is rebuilding and would be well-served to clear some payroll.