BP Toronto Reports Bautista Deal is Done, Pending a Physical (And So Does Everyone Else)

Andrew Stoeten
January 17 2017 12:42PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Terms of the deal are beginning to surface, and what is being reported is that it is a deal that will guarantee Bautista $18 million, though that number includes buyouts on two "mutual option" years, meaning that his 2017 salary will be lower than that figure.

Here's where it gets tricky: we've heard before that buyouts count on the books for the year they occur in, and since those are decisions made in November, if the Jays decline their end of the mutual option next fall, that should mean that the money then paid to Bautista would go on the books for 2017 -- meaning that this doesn't necessarily give them extra dough to play with.

But, as @SatiarShah points out, given how unlikely it is that mutual options on any deal will actually be exercised -- i.e. if a player is good, he'll opt out, and if he's bad the team will opt out -- it seems clear that this is, indeed, about clever accounting. In which case, the Jays may have enough to get a bullpen piece, a backup catcher, and the other outfielder that I very much think they need. 

Right now Cot's has the Jays at $128.75 million (with the $1 million owed to Melvin Upton now showing correctly). Marcus Stroman's salary will either be at $3.4 million or $3.1 million, depending on how his arbitration case goes, and about $5 million more will needed for pre-arb guys making close to the league minimum. That puts them at about $137 million before Bautista. Add the full $18 million and they're at $155 million -- which is either $5 million or $10 million from their limit, depending on which report we've heard this winter you want to believe. If Bautista is only on the books in 2017 for the same $14 million he made last year, with the rest tied up in the buyouts -- and the buyouts structured so that he's not paid in the 2017 fiscal year -- that could give the club something like $15 million still to play with.

Even if they wanted to save a third or so of that money for the trade deadline in July, they can do quite a bit with that still. But if it's lower than that? Well... then this is a team that looks a whole lot better than it did yesterday, but that will go into the season with some very easily identified, and not-too-expensively-fixed holes. Not great.

But, again, still kinda awesome. José is back!

Original Post...

Update the first: And now everybody else is reporting this, too.

The long national nightmare that followed our long national nightmare seems to be finally over!

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Bautista Update: Rosenthal Says That, If Completed, It Will Be For One Year With A Mutual Option

Andrew Stoeten
January 16 2017 02:28PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Well here's an interesting twist in the still-ongoing José Bautista saga:

I don't think we should get too concerned about the word "if" in there, or the idea that this may conflict with the reports of a two-year deal (which this basically still is). It sure feels like the Blue Jays are resigned to the fact that José Bautista is coming home. But that mutual option bit sure seems fun, doesn't it? We get to do this all again next year!

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Bautista Deal Still Expected But Not Yet Set, Plus: Saunders Goes to Philly and a McCutchen Rumour

Andrew Stoeten
January 16 2017 12:39PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Bautista is still technically a free agent, but all the chatter in the world continues to suggest that he's about to re-sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Finally!!!

Ken Rosenthal hears that the deal will be for two years, in the $35-40 million range, while Jon Heyman separately, he says, hears something similar -- that the two sides are finalizing a deal believed to be for two years and "about" $37 million.

We can think more on the terms once we know them officially, but for now let's just say that sounds fucking great.

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Blue Jays "Nearing a Deal" With José Bautista

Andrew Stoeten
January 15 2017 09:55PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Our long national nightmare may soon be over.

Don't ask me why the hell it has taken this long, but after a few days of dancing through the media -- Mark Shapiro calling him the best hitter available and yet only goings as far as calling him an "alternative," and reports, perhaps with origins in Bautista's camp, that Cleveland and Baltimore were taking serious looks at him -- we've finally reached the point where it seems like José Bautista's return to Toronto is finally in motion.

To wit:

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Ken Rosenthal Suggests Cleveland is Now Considering José Bautista, Too!

Andrew Stoeten
January 14 2017 06:06PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Oh man, as a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays I hate this idea almost as much as I love it as somebody who follows the team and the conversation around it: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported on Saturday that the Cleveland baseball franchise, despite seemingly having already spent all they could possibly spend this winter on Edwin Encarnación, are still looking at the free agent market… including José Bautista. 

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