According to Marly River of ESPN former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is in talks with the Atlanta Braves and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jose Bautista and Alex Anthopoulos may once again cross paths as the Braves are rumoured to have interest in Bautista on a one-year pact. The Blue Jays former General Manager took over the helm with Atlanta this offseason and has already reunited with Ezequiel Carrera and it would not be surprising for him to take a shot at Joey Bats.
The Tampa Bays Rays are also said to be interested in Bautista’s services and have been linked to the slugger for most the offseason. Either landing spot will afford Bautista the opportunity to resurrect his career after a disappointing campaign in 2017.
There was a social media rumour earlier in the week that Bautista was close to signing with the Houston Astros although it never came to fruition.
Anthopoulos was the Blue Jays Assistant General Manager when the Jays acquired Bautista from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Robinzon Diaz in the summer of 2008. Bautista would go on to spend 10 season’s north of the border where he was regarded as one of the most feared power hitters of the decade.
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The Dominican Republic native would launch 288 round trippers while donning a Blue Jays uniform, however, none more historic than his bat flip bomb versus the Texas Rangers in the 2015 postseason.
Bautista is still one of a number of free agents looking for a place to play this season, he along with the likes of Greg Holland, John Lackey, Jayson Werth and Matt Holliday are all still without contracts with Opening Day on the horizon.
Ideally, Bautista would remain in the American League to be utilized as a designated hitter at this juncture in the 37-year olds career, however if A.A. comes calling we may see a familiar face patrolling right-field at Sun Trust Park sooner than later. The Braves currently only have Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Lane Adams and Preston Tucker listed on their websites active roster, so there definitely is room for the aging slugger.
As the end of Bautista’s legacy nears, it would be fitting to see him ride off into the sunset with his old Blue Jays front office pal by his side. In A.A. we trust!