Jose Bautista is reportedly seeking a five-year deal from the Toronto Blue Jays worth an annual salary of over $30 million
It didn’t take long for a report of Jose Bautista’s contract demands to the Toronto Blue Jays to leak.
According to this article from Rick Westhead of TSN, Bautista is seeking a five-year contract extension worth “more than $30 million” per season.
This would put Bautista in the neighbourhood of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, whose $31 million annual salary makes him the highest-paid position player in baseball.
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Westhead reports that Bautista and his advisors took this angle when meeting with Blue Jays officials two weeks ago. “In a meeting with Blue Jays officials two weeks ago in Toronto, Bautista and his financial advisors compared the Blue Jays outfielder to Miguel Cabrera and retired Yankees superstar Derek Jeter, in terms of his value to his club.”
An issue in length of contract alone or annual value alone is one thing, but a five-year, $150+ million contract would likely produce a hard pass from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bautista can certainly maintain a high value through the first two-to-three years of any coming deal, but when we reach those fourth and fifth years as Bautista approaches his 40th birthday, history does not leave us with many examples of Father Time being defeated.
Often times, the argument can be made that “If the Blue Jays don’t pay him this, another team will in free agency.” In this case, I’m not sure that would be the case. Not close, actually.
Given that Bautista is reportedly not open to negotiations, this could drag out in an uncomfortable manner. That is assuming, of course, that these numbers are accurate and set in stone.
Keep in mind that leaked reports can come from either side of the bargaining table, and that these reports are often used as a tactic in public perception and/or negotiations.