Report: Jose Bautista hoping to stay with Blue Jays, has turned down offers
Earlier this month, we learned that Jose Bautista is still in contact with the Toronto Blue Jays and there is a chance he could return to the team. From the way it sounds now, Bautista would actually prefer it.
In an appearance on Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Tuesday, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports said Bautista has already turned down “solid” offers because he is hoping to re-sign with the Blue Jays.
“I have been told that Bautista has received offers that were credible, that were solid, acceptable offers from major league teams. He rejected them because he didn’t see them as being situations that he liked more than Toronto, in general,” Morosi said. “His mindset, his hope, is still that he is going to come back to Toronto. He has rejected at least one offer with that mentality.”
The Blue Jays have been playing hardball with Bautista. They made a qualifying offer to the 36-year-old last month, which would be a one-year, $17.2 million deal. Bautista rejected that hoping to sign a multi-year deal somewhere, but he obviously hasn’t gotten any offers that blew him away.
As Morosi notes, the best solution for both sides may be for the Blue Jays to offer Bautista a two-year deal with an average annual value of less than $17.2 million. That would seemingly be a decent compromise for both sides.
Bautista has plenty of pop left, but he batted just .234 last season. Given his age and production in 2016, you can understand why teams don’t want to commit to a multi-year deal with him. Plus, one team reportedly had a reason for not wanting Bautista that had nothing to do with statistics, and they were brutally honest with the slugger about it.
The longer Bautista remains a free agent, the more likely it seems that he will end up back in Toronto.