Uptons put onus on Rays
By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 1, 2002
ST. PETERSBURG -- Now that the owners and players have agreed on a new labor contract, maybe the Rays can strike a deal with top draft pick B.J. Upton.
Upton's father, Manny, said Saturday the slow pace of talks has been frustrating.
"It's been a long process, and it's been frustrating, because he's ready to go play," Manny Upton said from Virginia. "There's been no progress, and that's been the most frustrating part."
B.J. Upton, the No. 2 overall pick, passed on a scholarship offer to Florida State but is considering enrolling this week at Chipola Junior College or Riverside (Calif.) Community College.
"We're getting close to making a decision on which school to go to," Manny Upton said.
The Rays are believed to have offered a $4.5-million bonus paid over five years, with about $250,000 up front. Upton is seeking a larger overall package, and his representatives are believed to have made several adjustments to their proposal in the past week.
"It's up to them to get back to us," Manny Upton said. "We're waiting for them."
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