Toronto Blue Jays fans should appreciate and savor Jose Bautista’s final stretch run north of the border as the two sides will part ways in the offseason if not before.
After months of posturing, Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays agreed to an $18 million dollar pact for this season with options attached for 2018 and 2019. The option for next season is a $17 million dollar mutual option that both sides must agree upon to exercise. The Jays brain trust will undoubtedly opt for the $500, 000 buyout making Joey Bats a free agent once again.
This will conclude Bautista’s tenure as one of the most feared power hitters to ever suit up for the Blue Jays. The 2018 version of the Jays look to get younger and more athletic and although Bautista has remained healthy this season, he has underperformed offensively and that near twenty million could be better spent to improve the team.
Yesterday, news broke that Bautista was placed on revocable trade waivers which is common practice at this time of year. However, if the Jays can find a suitor in August they will definitely look to move the aging slugger sooner than later. Although any deal has to be agreed upon by Bautista who has 10/5 rights and can veto any possible transaction.
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The timing yesterday was interesting as Bautista was the only Blue Jays player leaked publicly that was being passed through revocable waivers. GM Ross Atkins recently appeared on Prime Time Sports and advised he felt confident he had the ground work in place to explore additional moves in August.
The time is now for all the loyal Jays supporters and Bautista fans to sit back and truly appreciate what Bautista has done on and off the field during his decade in Toronto. Joey Bats has been the face of the franchise, won back-to-back home runs titles and hit arguably the biggest home run in franchise history by a player not named Joe Carter.
Joey Bats is at or near the top of the leaderboard in every offensive category in franchise history having slugged 281 home runs since becoming a Blue Jay. Bautista rejuvenated his career north of the border after being acquired in 2008 from the Pirates for Robinson Diaz. This trade will go down in history as one of the best ever made by the Blue Jays.
Whether it happens now or at the conclusion of the campaign, Bautista’s time in Toronto is coming to an end, appreciate and be thankful to have witnessed the 10-years of heroics his bat has provided as Bautista will eventually get his place on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.
Unfortunately for the 36-year old, all good things must come to an end.