We are a less then a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to the Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training nest in Dunedin, Florida. Here are some of our crazy-early predictions of possible outcomes that could come from the exhibition season.
Jose Bautista gets his bat flip on
It has been well documented that Jose Bautista had a rough season this past year. The question heading into this offseason was who was going to give him the multi-year deal that he was searching for. The unfortunate answer for Bautista was that there were minimal suitors for his talents. The Toronto Blue Jays were waiting with open arms to sign him to a one-year deal. The deal, of course, has 2 mutual option years and could total to be $60 million if all 3 years are agreed on. This is a far shot from the mega deal that Jose wanted last spring.
That being said, Jose is on a mission to show that he is no average 36 year old. He wants to stare down father time on the mound and strut around the bases after he tees up a fastball for a solid 350 feet. If he can prove that this season, he could get the payday he is looking for next offseason, albeit in a very crowded free agent market. Either way, he is looking to crush it this coming season and bat flip his way toward that mega deal.
In the meantime, this spring he needs to show the team that he is in shape and ready to go. Look for him to have an epic spring like he did back in the spring of 2010. This is when he put on a show all spring and won a job in Cito Gaston’s lineup. He would then go on to hit 54 home runs, a silver slugger award, and finish 4th in the MVP voting.
Bautista will probably not hit 54 home runs, but with his amazing eye and pitch selection, look for him to get off to a hot start this season. He has a slight chip on his shoulder and is looking to prove himself. Just ask the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff what an angry Bautista can do.