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The Blue Jays “might be amenable to a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal” with Jose Bautista.
The Blue Jays “only might be amenable to a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal” with Jose Bautista. [Emphasis mine].
Both of these sentences should be fairly interesting to fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, but I’d say that one is a bit more specific and dispiriting than the other. Isn’t it?
I bring this up partially just to poke the bear (and the always excellent Nick Ashbourne, who wrote the post in question). But it is kiiiiiinda different without that single word — even if Sportsnet piece comes to what would seem to be the logical conclusion here: an offer like the three-year $75-million one (with a first-year opt-out) that Cespedes just signed would be unlikely to satisfy Bautista’s demands.
To me — and I don’t think I’m wrong here — one of Rosenthal’s sources suggestion that the Jays would do such a deal isn’t much of a story. But that they may only be amenable to that kind of a contract? That’s a story.
For their part (and to be fair to Sportsnet, who I know people love to make conspiracy theories about, which I’m not not contributing to here, I suppose) the Toronto Star was a bit soft on this angle, too.
Here’s the direct quote from Kenny Ken Ken:
For all the talk of Jose Bautista’s contract demands, the Blue Jays only might be amenable to a Yoenis Cespedes-type deal, according to a major-league source.
Only. Might be. Amenable.
As in, that’s as far as they’d go; a short-term, high average annual value contract with an opt out. A deal that would bring Bautista to free agency again at age 39, and would likely ensure he falls well short of the $150-million he hopes to make over the next six years.
Cue wailing from knee-jerk fans about cheap Rogers!
But actually, maybe the idea is kind of smart? OK, maybe not at the $25-million per year level of Cespedes, but hear me out on this.
What if you made Jose the highest paid position player in the game? By AAV right now that’s Miguel Cabrera at $31-million (per Cot’s). In discussing Bautista’s contract matters, we’ve mentioned a lot that Jose is a union guy and someone who most see as a guy who wants to extract as much as he can from owners, and to set new precedents that will raise earnings for every player. For someone like that I’d figure “highest paid player” is a hell of a belt to wear. It also would set the bar for Bryce Harper to go smash through in a couple of years.
It’s also… kinda fair? Maybe beef the Cespedes deal up, make it $100-million over three years with an opt-out, a vesting option for a fourth, and… I dunno, are we any closer to getting a deal done?
I doubt it. But this would allow Bautista to bet on his own fitness for age 39, while giving him a tonne of security in the meantime, that big round number you know he covets, the title of highest paid (position) player you know he’d delight in, and maybe shades him from risk just enough to be tempting.
Uh… maybe? Or maybe not. Probably not until he sees what else is out there, realistically. But maybe!
But what the hell do I know?
And for the Jays, while it’s obviously a huge salary to have to carry — he’d haul in a huge percentage of the bullshit budget that Rogers tells them they have to run — a three-year deal instead of one of five or six is surely worth paying that premium.
What I guess I’m mostly saying, though, is that this — if it’s even true and not just posturing, and if I’m reading it right — is perhaps not something so egregious from cheap Rogers as to immediately rush to sharpen the torches and light up the pitch forks over. Y’know?