Heyman: Bautista Would Consider Four-Year, $120-Million Deal

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, here’s a pot that hasn’t been stirred in a few days: the Jose Bautista contract situation. But don’t worry! Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is on it. He’ll make sure nothing in there just yet stagnates!

Phew! That was a close one!

But sarcasm aside, I must grudgingly admit that Heyman has actually given us a fairly sizeable nugget here. That Bautista could be amenable to four-years and $120-million, while still being a hopelessly large amount, it’s definitely less hopeless than more than five years, more than $150-million — which is what we were hearing a little over a month ago, when camp was just getting started.

It’s also closer to the Cespedes-like deal Heyman mentions (three-years, $75-million), and that two weeks ago we heard the Jays “might only” be amenable to. Or “only might.”

But if Bautista can budge from his starting point, maybe the Blue Jays can from theirs.

At the time I wrote that the actual Cespedes contract was certainly not going to be enough — and why should it be? Cespedes was coming off of just one season (and more like 57 games) of being truly elite, and Jose Bautista is Jose fucking Bautista — but suggested that perhaps you could “beef it up.” In terms of average annual value, I probably went a little too far for the club’s tastes, but I said to make an offer of $100-million over three years, with maybe an opt-out and a vesting option for a fourth.

That’s obviously not what Heyman suggests Bautista is willing to go down to, and nobody has said that the Jays would even go that far, but we’re now closer than at any point during this entirely theoretical negotiation!

And maybe the Jays would go there.

Last week Jeff Blair of Sportsnet wrote about a potential Bautista, revealing that he had “been told the club is willing to be much more flexible for him than Encarnacion both in terms of money and term.”

Hmmm.

Hey, at least we’re still talking about it!

  • Seamus1982

    There was a suggestion that the 5 year 150 mil request included wiping out his 2016 contract and giving him 30 mil this year right?

    If a 4 year 120 mil contract was structured that way too, that’d make it a little more palatable.

  • Warren_

    Bautista *may* also be amenable to a 9 year $240 million contract! We don’t know because he hasn’t said sh-t but let’s not stop speculating now!!

    The way journalists (and pseudojournalists) use the word “may”, “might”, and “could” as a form of reporting is plain awful and is only done to drive traffic and spark up conversation in a manipulative fashion, not to report actual facts about a situation.

    Only thing worse than this is asking rhetorical question: “Would Bautista accept a Cespedes-like deal?”, followed by 1,500 words worth of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Gee, thanks for nothing.

  • Jerkstore

    Something like 4/100m$ always seemed like a reasonable number to me.

    Maybe with bonuses and a vesting option. throw in some deferred money possibly. Especially if he is fine with moving to LF/1B/DH in the next few years.

  • BackinBlue

    No thanks. The merits of paying a 39-year old Bautista $30mil to DH/1B aside, I’d rather not have the salaries structure being so concentrated. With Jose at 30Mil, thats $114 mil for 6 players in 2017.

    Assuming a $140mil payroll, can Shapkins field a contender with 19 other players making 26mil total?

    • Nego

      I’m kind of on board with this. I love Joey, but can’t see how this salary fits if the budget isn’t going up.

      I mean, if the budget can increase over 160-170 mil, than sure – I’m all for signing Bautista. I just have my doubts that it will.

      That backloaded Martin deal will be almost impossible to move, who knows what Tulo is providing…

      $30 mil/year is a lot of money. I don’t even know if I’d give that to Price (or Grienke or Strasburg) and that would help us a whole lot more than Joey would.

    • Cock Flakes

      You are not going to see too many front loaded contracts. Most GM’s will take the backloaded contract given the very real possibility that the player will be on another team near the end of the contract. The Marlins are a prime example in the big trade of 2012 that was supposed to bring us a WS trophy in 2013.

    • sons_2.0

      Front loaded is worse.

      Time value of money.

      Ultimately I think it is so dependent on how the year goes for everyone including the fans. If last year (and don’t forget he hit 2HR in his last game only a couple months ago) carries over, yeah I would bet on him staying effective a year or two longer than the average guy.

      It makes so little sense to do a deal ahead of time at this point. Even I wouldnt hold that against Shapiro.

      • Listen, if the Jays just decide they don’t want to pay him and move on, I’m fine with that. I’m not saying that they should give him that deal. I’m saying that’s the type of deal that works if you want to get a contract done and stop talking about this.

        It might seem like a crazy number, but it shows Bautista the respect he obviously wants, and it’s a shorter term, which is key. Make it 90 or 87 or whatever you have to so that the first three years make sense to you, but if he has another great year with no signs of slowing, his ask isn’t going to go down. And if he DOES slow significantly enough that it warrants concern, do you want to pay him at all? I imagine Shapiro wonders the same thing, which is why a deal won’t be done until the offseason. Unless it’s one like the one I suggested.

  • Rob Ray

    I always thought they might pursue Joey Votto with the money saved if Joey Bats and EE walk. After all, they were talking to the Reds about Jay Bruce and he does play RF. Cincinnati is in a total rebuild. All you’d have to do is revisit the talk and expand them to include other players.

  • DAKINS

    One problem, Votto is guaranteed 25 mil average per year for the next 8 (!!!) seasons after 2016. Plus he has a no trade clause. That is a much harder pill for Rogers to swallow.

    • sons_2.0

      Which is why I have said before that Jose and Edwin may be expensive on a yearly basis but aren’t really a big risk. And far from “cripple” Rogers.

      Normally to get a 40HR, high walk, low strikeout hitter you are looking at up to 10 years and over 200M. And he could get injured anywhere in that time or forget how to hit. We can get 2 of them and might only regret it in the last year or year and a half. During which we’re enjoying the farewell tour anyway.

  • the wiener

    so what is the reason this comment section can’t be switched back to disqus? Preseason last year had like 100 comments on every post, this year, after finally making the playoffs, posts are lucky to get 15-20 comments.

      • Steve-O

        I think unique page views are worth a lot more than comments. A very small percentage of readers bother commenting.

        And they are doing a site redesign soonish (?) so we might see Disqus yet!

    • Philbert

      It’s not preventing anyone from doing anything, but it IS making it more difficult to quickly follow along with long conversations, hence the lack of discussion during games.

  • OldDude

    1. Are we no longer allowed to swear on posts ? I too vote for the old system, I still can’t figure out how to have the newest comments at the top ??

    2. I see Sportsnet NOW launches April 1st for like $25 a month – if you are primarily a Jays fan does this even make any sense over the MLB package ?? I live in the US so it probably is not available to me anyway.

  • Barry

    The new commenting system is vastly superior to Disqus. If you agree, click “Trash it.” If you disagree, click “Props.”

    Any responses to this post that do not voice complete agreement will be considered satire.