Blue Jays getting no hometown discount from Jose Bautista


Blue Jays star Jose Bautista is reportedly not willing to further negotiate a contract after laying out his offer to the organization. Game on.

Jose Bautista has no interest in giving the Toronto Blue Jays a hometown discount.

The comments today from the face of the Blue Jays has set the fan base abuzz, with Rogers ownership now back in the spotlight. Bautista told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet that he met with Blue Jays management for 15 minutes two weeks ago and laid out what he believes his value to be in simple terms for their consideration.

“I didn’t want to waste any time,” Bautista said. “If this is going to happen, I think it should be natural, organic, quick and easy, it shouldn’t be a pull and tug about a few dollars here or there. I didn’t want to waste any time, I didn’t want to waste their time or their effort, so they can start planning ahead, and if it’s not going to happen they have plenty of time to do so”

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Bautista is now at a point where he’s leaving the ball in Toronto’s court. Take it or leave it.

“I’m not willing to negotiate even right now,” he said. “I don’t think there should be any negotiation. I think I’ve proved myself and the question has been asked, what will it take, and I’ve given them an answer. It is what it is. I’m not going to sit here and try to bargain for a couple dollars.”

To his credit, Bautista has a point. For players outside of pre-arb and arbitration year, his contract (and that of Edwin Encarnacion) has been one of the biggest bargains in Major League Baseball.

While it doesn’t appear that Bautista is asking for a direct overpay to “make up” for those years of discounted service, it’s logical for him to seek out his expected worth in the current market and accept no less. Bautista is an incredibly intelligent individual, and he knows exactly who he’s negotiating with here.

Bautista zeroed in on Rogers when talking with Gregor Chisholm of “Are they going to put it out in the media and say because of the Jays we made all of this money? No. But everybody can read between the lines. Nobody has a way to measure how much money the team makes when we win because of the way that we’re structured. It’s really unfair to talk about revenue, payroll and all of that stuff to me, for this organization, are non-existent.”

So much for the quiet opening to spring in Dunedin.