Teams on the outside looking in
There are a number of teams that may or may not choose to become buyers in the next week before the deadline. In the Wild Card era there are plenty of teams within reach with more than two months to go in the season, so it adds an interesting dynamic at this time of the year.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels lost Cameron Maybin to the DL last week with an ankle sprain, and he’s expected to be sidelined for 2-4 weeks. He was brought in to be a primary outfielder, and unfortunately hasn’t been able to perform the way he did last season in Detroit. He was hitting just .238 with six home runs at the time of his injury.
Bautista could fit with the Angels in the outfield, or perhaps he could slot in at first base. Luis Valbuena is listed at the top of the depth chart, and he’s hitting just .184 in 190 at bats on the season. The Angels are just 2.5 back of a Wild Card spot, but will have to decide if they’re willing to dip into their farm system, and how much. Bautista could be a match because he shouldn’t require a massive return in order to pry him away at this stage.
It would appear the Twins are looking to make a playoff appearance this year, as their young team has started to push for contention before they were expected to. They’re hanging around in the race, currently sitting just a game behind the Wild Card leaders.
I’m not sure if the Twins would be interested, or if Bautista would be willing to go there, but they could find a way to get him into the lineup and give them some extra thump. They currently have Joe Mauer playing first base and Robbie Grossman listed as their DH on their depth chart. Grossman has just 6 home runs and 30 RBI in 268 at bats this season, while hitting .250.
In theory they could bring in Bautista to spell Mauer at first base, possibly Miguel Cano at third, and also DH, while sending Grossman to the bench. Like I said, I have no idea if there’s any mutual interest, but the fit makes some sense, at least to me.