Blue Jays should offer Jose Bautista a job in the organization
After news broke that Jose Bautista has been released by the Atlanta Braves, chances are his career is over. The Blue Jays should reach out sometime soon and offer him a job within the organization.
Even though it eventually happens to everyone, it’s still sad to see a baseball great on his last legs. We watched it play out with Blue Jays’ legend Jose Bautista last year during his final season in Toronto, and despite an attempt to extend his career with the Atlanta Braves, it looks like this might be the end for “Joey Bats”.
I’d be surprised if the 37 year old and his agent didn’t keep looking for another team that could use his services, but considering how his free agency went this winter, it’s going to be a difficult task. Bautista didn’t help matters much in his short stint with the Braves either, hitting just .143/.250/.342 with two home runs in 12 games played. The Braves decided they had seen enough of the experiment, and had to go with the next generation in Atlanta. One can hardly blame them.
What’s next for the six time All-Star? It’s hard to say at this point, but I hope he remains in the game of baseball somehow, and that’s where the Blue Jays may be able to step in.
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It’s entirely possible that Bautista could want to focus on his family and take a break for awhile if he’s not going to be playing this season. However, if he is interested in being around the game, the Blue Jays should seriously look at offering him a position within the organization. I’m not talking about anything significant off the bat, but some sort of advisory role for this year would make sense to me.
The Blue Jays have had a long history of bringing back their own in coaching and advisory roles. We’ve seen the likes of Pete Walker, Pat Hentgen, Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler, and many more awarded coaching and broadcasting jobs, and others given a chance to stay in the game in other areas. Maybe the “job” starts out as a bit of lip service, but I have no doubt that Jose can find a way to contribute to an organization beyond his playing career. This is a highly intelligent and passionate man, and keeping him involved in the right role could be a benefit to the Blue Jays.
Even if he doesn’t want to pursue this avenue in his post-playing career, making an offer like this would be the kind of gesture that would let Bautista know what he has meant to the people of Toronto, and the Blue Jays organization. He embraced Canada and all that comes with being a Blue Jay, and cemented himself as one of the greats in the uniform.
Maybe he does find another team willing to take a shot at him, and apparently he has a standing offer to return to Triple-A within the Braves organization as well. However, if he really is done, I hope the Blue Jays reach out and offer him a pillow for a softer landing. If the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez a similar role when he was forced out of the game, why can’t the Blue Jays do the same with the two-time MLB home run champ?
Next: What should the Blue Jays do with Randal Grichuk?
Being 5th all-time in games played, 2nd in home runs, 3rd in RBI, and top 10 in several other categories, means that Bautista has made a big contribution on the field. When you combine that with how he bought into the city of Toronto for roughly a decade, the Blue Jays should do whatever they can to make sure his exit from the game has as much dignity as they can provide.