The Toronto Blue Jays will have a busy winter when Jose Bautista headlines the list of free agents. According to the latest MLB rumors, Bautista is very interested in re-signing with the Blue Jays and possibly end his career in Toronto.
In an interview with Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, Joey Bats admitted that he is open to returning to Toronto even though he stopped the contract talks before the season. He denied demanding a five-year, $150 million deal from the Blue Jays.
“I love the city. I’d be stupid to leave,” Bautista said. He also added that he will explore his options in order to stay in Toronto.
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“I will explore every single option, whether it happens or not with the new regime, to continue to try to stay here. That being said, I think teams utilize that a lot against players, a discount or bargain price, and I think that’s extremely unfair, especially to have your biggest contributors on the field and try to take advantage of the fact that they like it there and negotiate a tougher deal,”
The Dominican Republic native will be 36 years old when he hits free agency later this year. However, he still is one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
Even though Bautista has a batting average of .237 this season, he already have 11 home runs, 37 RBIs and has been walked 40 times. He will have plenty of suitors looking for a big bat and he will likely look for better opportunities when the Blue Jays don’t win the World Series.
Toronto currently has a 28-26 record and they are five games behind the first place Boston Red Sox. Their offense has been struggling early in the season, as well as their bullpen. The team recently acquired Jason Grilli from the Atlanta Braves.
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Besides Bautista, the Blue Jays also has to worry about re-signing designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, left fielder Michael Saunders and relief pitcher Jesse Chavez.
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