It looks like Jose Bautista might retire

We’ve already accepted that Jose Bautista isn’t going to be playing for the Blue Jays again. He got a legend’s farewell last September in his final game in right field rocking a Jays jersey in front of a packed house. Fans stood and clapped for Bautista at every possible moment thanking him for ultimately bringing baseball back to life in Toronto.

But, in accepting Bautista’s final days as a Jay, I think we were all also expecting to watch him play for another team. According to Jon Heyman, though, there’s a good chance that isn’t going to happen. In his Inside Baseball notes, Heyman says…

Jose Bautista had a couple seven-figure offers (probably $1 million, or just over), but he didn’t think they were commensurate with his value. So he may retire. If so, thus becomes the first case of a player who sought $150 million in talks two years earlier (by some miracle he got $18.5 million after 2016), and was out of the game a year later.

We’ve heard that the Minnesota Twins were interested, which makes sense given that Bautista hit like Barry Bonds at Target Field over his career, and that the Tampa Bay Rays were interested, which also makes sense given the fact they don’t have any real Major League Baseball players under contract and Bautista lives in the area.

I don’t know. I’m on the fence here. On one hand, I’m down to watch Bautista, probably my favourite baseball player of all time, continue to go out and hack it. I’d absolutely love to see him win a World Series or have a comeback season, even if it isn’t with the Jays. That said, I’m also cool with not having to watch him put up, like, a .600 OPS on the Rays and get released in June, which is much more realistic of a scenario than the first one I mentioned.

    • Knuckleballs

      You know that quote was probably somewhat accurate. When he arrived at camp he was hammering the ball and looked really good in the early going. Then he went and played at the Worlds and did quite well in a number of games and if memory served sat out the last several games due to injury (I believe he hurt his back). And then when he came back into spring training camp he sat out several games due to the injury and then he was not the same for rest of season at the plate (looked slow on balls within the zone).

      Its hard to say pride is preventing him from playing or he no longer thinks he cannot play at this point. Shame Jose is maybe a victim of the Current management thought around not paying for declining players behind the age curve, but can you blame them.

      • TorontoBaseballGuy

        You mention the part about hammering balls early l and then having his power sapped following the back injury at the WBC. I noticed that too, I really thought we’d hear something about a nagging back injury after the season ended. I’m assuming that he’s too proud to use any excuses. The team that signs him will get healthy-back Jose and together they will terrorize the MLB. I’m certain!

  • Teddy Ballgame

    I really wanted to see Jose retire on his own terms. I know that most of the time we don’t get to write our own endings, but I’d hoped Joey Bats would have got an exception.

  • Barry

    At end of last season I was hoping he’d retire, because it looked to me like the decline was real, and not just a bad season. And because I feared this offseason would go exactly like it has for him: few offers, all small, and nothing, apparently from a contender. It was bound to be a humbling offseason, and it has been.

    I hope he signs somewhere and has a great season. I’d hate to see him pack it in because he wasn’t getting decent offers, and I hate to see him sign somewhere, struggle, and be hated by his new team’s fanbase — which is a real possibility if he has another bad year.

  • Rob Ray

    I hope he continues to play. What would it hurt to sign with a team like the Twins and try to re-establish his value? If he fails, fine. He can walk away knowing he gave his all. If he succeeds and the team that signed him fails, he could go to a contender at the trade deadline and possibly earn a ring.