Blue Jays: Who might want to trade for Jose Bautista?
Kansas City Royals
The Royals have dragged themselves back from being buried in the standings, and are currently in possession of one of the Wild Card positions, tied with the Tampa Bay Rays. It may not be a match with Bautista based on some battles they’ve had over the years, but it’s funny how quickly players will get over something like that when their team stands to improve.
The Royals have stalwarts, Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon in the outfield, and have rookie Jorge Bonifacio in RF, who has performed admirably. The fit in KC could be at DH, where Brandon Moss has had a very difficult season, hitting just .210 with 12 home runs in 210 at bats. Yes, he had a walk off home run the other night, but he’s largely disappointed this year.
The Royals are facing a potential rebuild of their own next year, as they have most of their core set to hit free agency. They’ve been rumoured to be linked to Marco Estrada as well, so it looks like they’re ready to buy and take one last run at the playoffs with this group.
This one doesn’t make as much sense as the ones above, but it’s possible the Mariners could call to ask about Bautista. They have Mitch Haniger at the top of the right field depth chart, who doesn’t bring a lot in terms of power, but is hitting .269/.366/.447 and is better on defence than Jose.
The Mariners could use a boost to their lineup, but perhaps Bautista’s inconsistency is the opposite of what they should pursue. They’ve had lengthy hot and cold stretches themselves, and may be looking for a different type of player, if they choose to upgrade at all. They’re 2.5 back in the Wild Card standings.
There were rumours late in the offseason that the Cleveland front office had interest in signing Bautista, and bringing him in to join Edwin Encarnacion to bolster their lineup. That obviously didn’t come to fruition, but there were discussions around the idea.
Cleveland currently has Albert Almora and Brandon Guyer playing in right field, and neither is doing much with that bat this season. While Bautista isn’t the greatest defender any more, the upgrade he brings with his bat might make sense here, if the teams can find a common trade ground. Cleveland is in first place in the AL Central, with a 1.5 game lead on the Twins.