Blue Jays: Jose Bautista still has something to prove in 2018

TORONTO, ON - JULY 9: Jose Bautista
TORONTO, ON - JULY 9: Jose Bautista /

Jose Bautista is still one of the many free agents searching for a suitor for the 2018 campaign however even at 37 years of age and 331 career home runs under his belt the slugger still has something to prove.

The former Blue Jays outfielder is not ready to ride off into the sunset after a disappointing 2017 season where Jose Bautista set a franchise record for most strikeouts and barely hit over the Mendoza Line. As we all know, Bautista is too proud and talented to go out like that.

Bautista’s agent Jay Alou was attempting to drum up some interest in his client at the recent Winter Meetings in Florida proclaiming that “Joey Bats” had found the issue with his swing that assumingly was partly responsible for his poor showing.

The slugger’s name has been quiet on the free agent front other than an early offseason mention that the Tampa Bay Rays may be willing to take a flier on the aging home run king.

In November, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported that Bautista was also open to a position change in an attempt to broaden his cast of potential suitors. A sad state of affairs for the man who once was arguably the most feared hitter in baseball. However, Father Time catches up with us all at one point or another.

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Bautista will eventually latch on with a team and in all probability on a one-year deal hopeful of catching lightning in a bottle for his new employer. Last season Bautista still connected for 23 home runs even though he slashed an uninspiring .203/.308/.366  and was a negative WAR player for the first time since 2008.

Regardless of how the remainder of his career plays out, Bautista will go down in history as one of the best players to ever play north of the border and single-handedly united a nation with his majestic round-trippers.

The events of Game 5 during the 2015 postseason will be forever engrained in the minds of Jays fans across the country until eternity (and probably some Rangers fans as well).

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As we all have witnessed for a decade, Bautista is a clutch performer who has fed off adversity for his entire career and I for one would not feel comfortable betting against him. Look for a motivated Joey Bats to have a rebound season with his new team in 2018.