Talks appear to have heated up between Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays. Could a deal be coming soon?
Jose Bautista has spent the entire offseason twisting in the breeze. No one has seemed to want the 36-year-old right fielder. Bautista’s team for the past nine seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays, appeared ready to move on from the veteran slugger in an effort to get younger and change the energy in their clubhouse. With a little more than a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, the Blue Jays have seemingly softened their stance on Bautista and are deep in talks to re-sign him.
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Multiple MLB sources reported late Sunday night and into Monday morning that a deal was in the works and that the sides were deep in talks. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com was first to report on the negotiations.
Source: #BlueJays have emerged as the front-runner for Jose Bautista. He’s nearing a deal with the club. #Toronto@mlb
The report that Bautista and the Blue Jays were nearing a deal comes less than a day after it was reported that the Baltimore Orioles had been in contact with Bautista’s representatives. There is no indication that talks were serious, and the rumor may have been leaked by one side to increase leverage for their own benefit.
Source: #Orioles have been in contact with Jose Bautista’s camp this offseason, despite public statements at the Winter Meetings. @MLB
Bautista is coming off the worst season of his tenure with the Blue Jays. After losing Edwin Encarnacion, however, the Jays need more thump in their lineup. With Bautista left without a home for so much of the offseason, it makes sense for Toronto to return to talks with their franchise icon. Whether or not Bautista is able to squeeze a multi-year deal out of the front office, or even equal the qualifying offer he turned down, remains to be seen.