The complexion of the Toronto Blue Jays offseason could have taken a dramatic turn for the worse had the Cleveland Indians been able to come to terms with Jose Bautista to compliment the free agent signing of former Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports authored an article yesterday touching on the Indians offseason offer to free agent Jose Bautista. Blue Jays nation would have imploded leading to a revolt against Mark Shapiro and company had the Indians concluded the offseason with both Edwin Encarnacion and Bautista in tow.
"The Indians made a nice play for Jose Bautista, offering around the same guarantee he got from Toronto ($18.5 million). There was a possibility they might have made it a multi-year deal, but Bautista wanted to go back to Toronto so he cut off talks. Though Indians people say the Jays’ offer he signed was actually better than the one they did offer, which was a creative idea, including a buyout."
You can read the full article HERE.
John Gibbons offensive attack would have looked very different had the ever motivated Bautista not re-upped to return to Toronto. The 36-year old outfielder looks poised to do some damage in 2017 if his spring training and World Baseball Classic results are any indication of what lies ahead.
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Time and time again reports have surfaced that Bautista had multiple offers and lucrative opportunities to sign with other teams. However, the 13-year MLB veteran came good on his word and returned to Canada in hopes of finishing up what this core group has started the past two seasons.
The native of the Dominican Republic has spent the past nine seasons north of the border with the Blue Jays rejuvenating his major league career. The slugger has 308 career home runs with 265 of his big flies coming in a Jays uniform.
The below chart summarizes the unique pact Bautista signed including the two mutual vesting options for 2018 and 2019.
The agreement has an opportunity for Bautista to finish his career as a Blue Jay should both camps be in agreement.
I cannot fathom if Joey Bats had departed for Cleveland and the backlash that would have been unleashed from the fan base. Expect big things from the slugger this year as he proves to the brain-trust why they need to include him in their 2018 plans. Welcome home, Jose.