Jose Bautista reportedly expected to reject Toronto’s qualifying offer
He may be pushing 36, but Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista still believes he has what it takes to command a rich deal on the open market.
According to a report by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe on Saturday, Bautista is unlikely to accept Toronto’s $17.2 million qualifying offer for the 2017 season and is expected to receive multiyear offers in free agency with the Boston Red Sox looming as a possible preferred destination for him.
Injuries limited Bautista, the six-time All-Star, to just 116 games in 2016, but he still managed to hit 22 home runs and 69 RBIs. The Blue Jays want to negotiate with him, but Bautista doesn’t seem to be too interested, saying flat out that he’s not willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the team.
With Toronto having to worry about the free agencies of Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders, and others as well this offseason, there’s a very real possibility that Bautista has played his last game in a Blue Jays uniform.