What Can the Blue Jays Expect From Aging Slugger José Bautista In 2017?

Andrew Stoeten
January 18 2017 11:44AM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

"I don't think there should be any negotiations."

That was Jose Bautista last spring, speaking to a gaggle of reporters about his looming free agent walk year, failing to be careful what he wished for.

It has likely been a rather lonely winter for the man they call Joey Bats. After declining the Blue Jays' $17.2 million qualifying offer in early November, and in the process chaining a draft pick around his own neck, Bautista sat and waited as the market for one-dimensional power hitters collapsed around him.

We all know about Edwin Encarnacion's roller coaster ride through free agency. Before that even began there was a sign that things could get ugly, when Chris Carter, who hit 41 home runs for the Brewers, wasn't even tendered a contract. Mark Trumbo hit 47 home runs for the Orioles, and yet his name—like Bautista's name—hardly appeared in rumours.

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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

Aaaannnd here's a "that last update is pointless" update:

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! contradicts the earlier reports about the $18 million guarantee being spread across the buyouts. To wit:

So... scratch all that stuff below about there possibly being a whole bunch more money for the Jays to play with and cross your fingers that the budget number is closer to the $165 million report (from TSN's Rick Westhead, I believe), and not the $160 million we've heard elsewhere. 

(Because they really do still need another outfielder, plus that catcher and reliever.)

Update the second: 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.

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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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