José Bautista is signing a one-day contract to retire as a Blue Jay
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
José Bautista is a Blue Jay, always and forever.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Friday morning that Bautista will sign a one-day contract so that he can officially retire as a member of the team. This comes one day ahead of Saturday’s ceremony in which Bautista’s name will be added to the Level of Excellence at the Rogers Centre.
“There aren’t many names as synonymous with Blue Jays baseball as José Bautista, and it is our great honour that he will officially retire in a Blue Jays jersey,” Mark Shapiro said in a statement released by the team. “On behalf of a generation of Blue Jays fans that had the privilege of watching his clutch moments on the field and inspiring work ethic – thank you, José, for a mesmerizing decade representing the Toronto Blue Jays.”
The Blue Jays acquired Bautista from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2008 season when he was a depth utility player and he broke out a couple of years later and broke the team’s single-season home run record with 54 bombs. He finished his Blue Jays career second in team history with 288 home runs, third with 766 runs batted in, and seventh with 1,103 hits.
Bautista was among baseball’s most feared hitters during the first half of the 2010s and helped rejuvenate a Blue Jays club that had lacked an identity for years. He was an All-Star from 2010 to 2015, won the Silver Slugger three times in 2010, 2011, and 2014, and received Most Valuable Player votes four times during his Blue Jays career.
The biggest moment of Bautista’s career came on the biggest stage. He helped the team snap a 22-year playoff drought in 2015 and smashed an iconic go-ahead home run in a decisive Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. His bat flip following the dinger remains one of the most memorable moments in team history.
Bautista will sign his contract with the Blue Jays on Friday at 2:30 PM ET and can be watched on the team’s social media channels.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis