Blue Jays “Nearing a Deal” With José Bautista

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:

Jesse elaborates in a piece at, adding that “there are several contract details still being negotiated and a physical pending before the deal is finalized. The club has not commented.”

These aren’t the words of someone hearing mere whispers. Especially when it’s someone as established as Sanchez. I think you can feel comfortable believing that this is very much on its way to happening.

Jon Heyman is on it as well, reporting at FanRag that he’s hearing, separately from Sanchez’s report, that the two sides are in serious talks.

And an interesting detail emerges via the always-excellent John Lott of the Athletic, as he reports that “while nothing is official, and the length of the deal is uncertain, indications are that the Jays are agreeable to an annual salary figure slightly above the $17.2-million (U.S.) qualifying offer Bautista rejected in November.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Passan tweets that the focus seems to be on a one-year deal.