The Jose Bautista Chronicles Continue: Long Term Deal in the Works?

Well, just when you thought things were finally going to get settled by putting the Jose Bautista questions to rest, everything gets flipped upside down. The Jays waited until the very last minute to make it known that they will at least attempt to come to terms with Jose Bautista and have asked for the arbitration hearing to be held on Friday instead of today. It’s said to be for a long-term, but who knows what long could mean in this case?

Something had to change in order for the Jays to go through the entire winter without any word and wait until now to make such a move. Unless they were simply trying to get Bautista under the most pressure possible so that he’d be easier to come to terms with, something had to change, didn’t it?

In “other news”, there is word that 2 teams are involved in Michael Young trade talks with the Texas Rangers. Could this change in strategy by the Jays be due to involvement in those dealings? I wouldn’t put it past Alex Anthopoulos.

Also, if the Jays do sign Bautista to a long-term deal, it doesn’t mean that he’ll remain in Toronto. It could simply be that he’s involved in trade talks and that the acquiring team wants him signed to a long-term deal. A 3-way deal including the Rangers and Young, and a third team…’s possible.

It’s also entirely possible and likely that the Jays will see what a deal would cost, give it their best shot, and try to retain Bautista for as long as possible. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that approach if the terms are right.

What are your thoughts on this change of events? Will a deal get done? Is it a prelude to a trade? Will the Jays be involved in the possible Michael Young deal?

- MG

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Tags: Jose Bautista

  • mcbuchho

    Don’t know if i’m a fan of michael young at this decline point in is career, i’m betting if AA has a trade deal in the works it will be for someone from some team that has not been mentioned at all to date and will blow us away like the vernon deal.

    • Mat Germain

      What I had in mind was more in the way of Young going to the 3rd team, ect… I don’t think Young will land in Toronto either. Could happen, but it seems unlikely.

      One intriguing team I heard of for Young’s services was Milwaukee.

  • Jeff

    You tend to here a lot of trade proposals like these on call in shows from guys who generally over value their players or who don’t know crap about baseball.
    I’m not here to harp on your articles, I’m really enjoying the prospect coverage, and some of your other articles, even tough theories this sites authors seem a little out there.
    However when you suggest that a team would give up their young/cheap closer, or one of there young/cheap effective starters in order to get a hitter to load up before a pennant run, that’s just stupid.
    When’s the last time you’ve seen a team give up a key piece of their roster, who is playing up to his capabilities and isn’t a problem (ala Yunel Escobar last year), during a playoff run. You don’t, they give up prospects and maybe secondary guys, July is not a time to make drastic changes to you’re lineup, the offseason is, that would be the time to target a guy like gonzalez or bailey, but the Jays won’t have that option.
    In the end I could see Atlanta as being a good option if need be. They have good pitching prospects, and crap in LF for quite some time now.

    • Mat Germain

      Thanks for the comment Jeff, and I took a while to reply because I wanted to do so in the best manner possible.

      I really enjoy studying the prospects in baseball most because they’re the future, hopes, and dreams of all MLB teams. However, another portion I really enjoy covering is one that gets little to no coverage in conventional news coverage outlets for a couple of reasons. First, it takes Kahunas to make these kinds of evaluations, because many will attempt to rip them apart or criticize them. And second, they’d need to have the foresight to make such suggestions as well as the support from their editors, something that unlikely to happen unless they’re Ken Rosenthal type reporters.

      I realize that I’m not a reporter. I have a full time job and simply study and chat about the game with all of you because I enjoy it so much. I’d like to think that every single suggestion I make is well-founded and intentioned to get the mind juices going. It doesn’t mean that I expect everyone to agree with what I have to say, not at all. But, I do believe that over the limited time I have spent covering baseball and the Jays, I’ve always brought forward ideas that are plausible, and that if they were not, I stated so in my article (such as the Pujols article).

      The Pujols, Mets, and Darvish articles I wrote recently, which all had to do with the “theories” you speak of above, were the most widely read and most re-published articles this site has ever had, so don’t expect them to stop any time soon. If I see something that seems plausible and that should be examined as a result, I’ll do so. I enjoy examining them way too much to stop, get way too much positive responses from them to stop, and believe that without such coverage fans of the team are left thinking to themselves instead of examining the issues together.

      That’s what we at JJ strive to do, Jeff. Take a look at what’s out there in the Jays and MLB worlds, and wonder out loud on how it applies to the Jays. We hope you’ll keep reading our stuff and that our “theories” will grow on you over time!

      Yours truly,


  • Mylegacy

    Coupla points…

    Mat, I agree AA could be planning ANYTHING – the guy is inscrutable. When Jose gave his ultimatum I though he was a gonner for sure – now – not so much. Some sort of multi-optioned deal might be a way to go. Lets hope – Jose really wants to stay.

    In the comment above Jeff suggests that some of this sites articles are “a little out there.” I agree – and applaud the articles! WHY? Because AA is “a little out there” – he is ALWAYS trying to poke a hole in the outside of the envelope and commentators – like you two here – should be trying to match his imagination with your ideas. BRAVO!

    As to trading a young closer in July – or not as the case may be – July is PRECISELY when contending teams HAVE to make serious choices if they want to get to – and win in – the play-offs. If a team thinks it has a closer in waiting – they’d be VERY tempted to trade their known asset – for a proven asset (a big bat for instance)- trusting that their internal knowledge of their prospect being ready is correct.

    • Al

      Well put Legacy.

      Yes it’s speculation but Mat always adds the context to support his thoughts and that’s one of the things that separates good writing from sensationalism.
      Sure, Andrew Bailey is a good young talent and has maintained great peripherals when he’s been able to pitch, but the struggles of Papelbon and Broxton last year should illustrate how volatile the closer’s role is. Bailey has 51 career saves and enough health issues that Oakland brought in Fuentes (187 career saves) so I would hesitate before labeling him “untouchable” as Jeff suggests.

      • Jeff

        I’m not saying anyone is untouchable, but if someone is a key part of a team, such as Bailey and Gonzalez are expected to be, you don’t give up a piece like that during a pennant run.
        I think a package from Oakland may revolve around one good prospect, such as Carter or Green, along with a couple of mid level guys, most likely pitchers. As we’ve seen in the past, teams don’t give up a great deal when you’re only getting a couple of months out of a player.
        Look at what the Brewers gave up for Sabathia, decent package, but nothing to call home about.
        Same for Teixeira, when he was traded from Atlanta to Anaheim, pretty bad return on teixeira.
        No key pieces in either Cliff Lee deadline deals, you can make an argument for Smoak, but he was still a prospect.
        Same for Victor Martinez, Jake Peavy (Richard was kind of established, but still young and unproven), Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay deal, etc.
        Anyhow, I’m not saying it’s impossible a key member on a playoff team be traded at the deadline, just highly unlikely.

  • James H

    Jo-Bau will take whatever is on the table on Fri. He is too smart to pass up on guaranteed money. Look for a 4 yr deal in 30M range. That way the Jays can easily trade him if he has another monster yr in 2011. In fact, by having 2 great offensive seasons in a row and potentially 3 yrs left on a very reasonable deal just make Jo-Bau an even better trade bait next off-season.

    • Mylegacy

      James – I agree Jose is “…smart…” But it’s not his intelligence we could be questioning – the question should be : “How confident is Jose that 54 HR’s (or there abouts) is not a fluke?” The answer to that – well – as they used to say on radio – “Only the Shadow knows.” (Ya – I know – before your time!).

      • James H

        If Jo-Bau has made say 20-25M in his career already, I don’t see him signing long term here at all. It makes perfect sense to break the bank and become a FA.

        AA is in a perfect bargaining position. If he signs multi-year, and have a great yr, he becomes a very tradeable commodity. If he signs a 1 yr deal, and flame out, AA can still sign him if he likes(at an even deeper discount). If he have a great 2011 season with a 1 yr deal, AA can always shop him at the trade deadline. heck, if AA likes him so much, the Jays can throw money at him once he turns FA next offseason too.

        So, you tell me what kind of bargaining power does Jose have? AA is in the driver seat here, no contest. That is why i think Jo-Bau will take what is on the table come Fri

  • Gribble

    Even if Bautista has another huge year, what you would get for him at the trade deadline with only 3 months or so of control left on him is probably not very significant in the big scheme of things. Possibly one or two significant major league ready prospects who you might have to wait years to see pay off.

    IMO, the Jays have just as much to lose as Bautista. They have a potential All-Star here, a 35+ homerun guy who walks and is quite serviceable in the field. That’s not going to come cheap on the free agent market if they wait until after the year to negotiate and he continues to hit. I’m not sure why people think the Jays have all the leverage on a guy who is now a sought after talent (if trade inquiries from other teams are to be believed) close to free agency.

    This is not as cut and dry a case for the Jays as people are making out. If it were, there would have been a resolution a long time ago and not a week into spring training. It’s safe to say Bautista is at least an .850 ops player in the AL…probably more given his performance since Sep ’09. You’re going to have to pay him as such or someone on the open market will and you will have lost a pretty significant asset for not a whole lot in return.