Shane Victorino had been the Phillies' starting center fielder for over six years, but he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline this past season. The Phillies are looking to move on, and Upton appears to be their primary target.
Upton had a very B.J. Upton season in 2012, hitting 28 home runs and stealing 31 bases. But he also struck out 169 times and got on base less than 30% of the time. This will be his first go-around in the free agent market, and at only 28 years old, his best years could very well still be ahead of him.
Upton had his best season in 2007 when he hit .300 and smacked 24 home runs. That season, Steve Henderson was Upton's hitting coach with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Phillies recently hired Henderson for the same role, so perhaps they think they can recapture what made Upton one of the most exciting young players in baseball.