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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Jose Bautista reportedly interested in playing for Rays

Jose Bautista

Spring training is in full swing and Jose Bautista remains without a team. The former Toronto Blue Jays star is preparing for the season as if he will be playing, and the Tampa Bay Rays are being mentioned as a potential match for him.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin reported on Saturday that Bautista has strong interest in playing for the Rays. Topkin says Bautista knows that he would likely be playing for a reduced cost than what he’s used to if he were to play for the Rays.

The Rays have been slashing payroll, getting rid of players like Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and Evan Longoria, so a player who could offer upside at a low cost could have some appeal.

The question is whether they think Bautista still offers any upside. Joey Bats’ batting average has dropped in three straight years and plummeted to .203 last year. He struck out a career-worst 170 times, which was more than 50 than his previous worst mark. Even his 23 home runs couldn’t offset the poor average.

Perhaps something could be worked out if Bautista accepts an invitation to spring training and minor league deal.

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