Trade Jose Bautista? Why The Blue Jays Slugger Won’t Be Dealt


June 2, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder

Jose Bautista

(19) celebrates with teammates after a win against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Blue Jays won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon my fellow Jays Journal contributor Michael Van Bommel posed a question that has seemingly been on the tips of a great number of Blue Jays fans’ tongues: Should the Jays trade Jose Bautista?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and nothing gets fans riled up quite like a good trade rumour….but here’s the thing, there is quite literally a  zero percent chance that the Toronto Blue Jays would trade Jose Bautista right now.

To properly assess the ridiculousness of the calls to trade Jose, let’s take a look at the reasons why people are souring on the Blue Jays slugger.

Not A Leader

"It’s time to trade Jose Bautista. He is not a good leader.It’s frickin’ embarrassing to watch this guy blow— Mark Hebscher (@Hebsyman) June 10, 2013"

Know what’s really embarrassing? That tweet.

This is my favourite argument for trading Jose Bautista. The man isn’t a leader? I personally am unable to analyze someone’s leadership traits among teammates that he spends countless hours every day with simply by the few minutes I see him on TV in the midst of intense sporting competition. But luckily I have Twitter to help!

But seriously, how is this a thing? Bautista blows up and gets ejected sometimes, it happens! When Brett Lawrie had a hissy fit and was arguing with Gibbers a couple weeks back, who stepped in and was the cooler head? Mr. Not-a-leader himself! Despite my aforementioned like of psycho-analytic skills, I would say that action had at least a trace of leadership in it.

David Ortiz is widely viewed as an excellent leader, but way back in 2004 Big Papi got a little upset about the strike zone he faced one fateful evening and lost it. Not only did Ortiz get ejected, but when he retreated to the dugout he grabbed a few bats and threw them at the umpire. Ortiz was suspended for the incident and traded shortly thereafter for his lack of leadership and rejoined the team after the suspension, continued to mash baseballs, and helped lead the Red Sox to the happy ending in Fever Pitch.

Time to Rebuild

Do I think the Blue Jays are going to make the playoffs this year? No, probably not.

Do I think the Blue Jays can make the playoffs this year? Absolutely! There are 99 games left on the schedule, just take a look at the 2012 Oakland A’s to see what can happen in baseball.

This is all kind of beside the point however. Even if the Blue Jays are out of contention this year, why in god’s name would they, after just 63 games (53 of which were without Jose Reyes), decide that this very talented team can’t rebound to contend next year?

Sure the Blue Jays might be able to wrangle a few blue-chip prospects in trade for JoeyBats,  but would of them develop and produce even half the value over their careers that Jose will over the remainder of his contract? Probably not…just ask the Royals how banking on the MLB’s best farm system to develop can turn out.

His Contract

"@yawexperience I don’t think they can afford to keep Bautista, when his contract is up, he’s my favorite player, but I see him being moved.— Oaks (@OakleyInc) June 7, 2013"

Alright I’m going to be honest here, this guy might be the only person in the world to actually think that Jose Bautista’s contract is a thing to worry about, but this tweet somehow ended up in my timeline, and an article with three points looked way better than two so here we are.

As @OakleyInc tells us,  how much he may or may not cost the Blue Jays in 2017 is clearly a reason to trade Jose Bautista right now in 2013.

Bautista’s contract is actually one of the things, aside from his prodigious baseball skills, that give him such great value to the Blue Jays. Vastly inferior fellow outfielder B.J. Upton happened to sign a contract of identical term, for an extra $10-million this offseason, how anyone could possibly expect to replace Bautista’s production for anything close to the same amount of money is beyond me.

Speaking of money, one of my favourite tidbits of the offseason, and main reasons why you won’t see this core blown up anytime soon:

"Prince Fielder remaing contract commitment $143M. Remaining contract commitment to Bautista/EE/Dickey/Morrow/Melky $135M. #Bluejays— Gruber’s Mullet (@GrubersMullet) December 19, 2012"

So that’s that. I honestly cannot think of a single rational reason that the Blue Jays would trade Jose Bautista. He’s their best player, signed to a team friendly contract, and has the pieces around him to have this team in contention for years to come.

Disagree? Let me know why in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter, @travisb31.