Blue Jays: Who might want to trade for Jose Bautista?

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Jose Bautista
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Jose Bautista /
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CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: Jose Bautista
CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: Jose Bautista /

After getting swept by the Cleveland Indians over the weekend, the Blue Jays’ slim playoff hopes have all but disappeared. With that in mind, trade rumours will continue to intensify, including which teams could be interested in Jose Bautista.

We’re only a week away from the July 31st trade deadline, so this could be a very busy week for the Blue Jays’ front office. They already made two minor trades on Sunday, and will no doubt have plenty of rival GMs calling to ask about their potential trade pieces.

As we’ve discussed at the Journal several times lately, the obvious candidates would include guys like Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, Joe Smith, and potentially Jose Bautista, who could all be free agents at the end of the season. Bautista has an option on his contract that appears to be a long shot to get exercised, but stranger things have happened.

“Joey Bats” has been in Toronto long enough now that he entitled to “10-5 rights”, which means he can veto any trade he doesn’t approve of to remain with the Blue Jays. That said, if he doesn’t believe he’ll return next season, it may be wise to explore the market prior to hitting free agency again, and gauge interest. Bautista only has so much control over that element, but signalling that he’s willing to waive the no-trade clause would help the Jays’ front office.

At 36 and having a down year, it’s hard to guess what the market might be for Bautista at the trade deadline. That said, I’m gonna give it a shot anyway, and feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments below.