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!
While @JoeyBats19 is said to want 5/6 yrs at 30M, belief is he’d consider 4 at 30M. Jays thought to favor 3 (cespedes $)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 30, 2016
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.”
Hey, at least we’re still talking about it!