Blue Jays Report: Braves Release Former Star, Jose Bautista
After a short stint in the National League East, former Blue Jay Jose Bautista has reportedly been released by the Atlanta Braves.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the Atlanta Braves have released veteran third baseman Jose Bautista. The move came early Sunday morning. Bowman, who is the Atlanta Braves beat writer for MLB, notes that the Braves will now go with Johan Camargo as their everyday third baseman.
Shortly after the Bowman tweet, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed the report, going on to say that Bautista has a standing offer to return to Triple-A Gwinnett if he’s unable to find employment elsewhere. O’Brien also reports that the front office and Bautista sat down and discussed the matter on Saturday, and came to the conclusion that with Camargo on his way up, Bautista’s roster spot would be useless as there would be no at-bats for him with the big league squad.
While unfortunate, Bautista’s release is not totally unexpected. In 12 games with Atlanta, Joey Bats limped to a .143/.250/.343 slash line, hitting two homers and striking out 12 times in 40 plate appearances, good for a -0.3 WAR.
Bautista played third base in all of Atlanta’s home games and briefly appeared as the designated hitter in early May when the Braves took on the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
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At this point, it is unknown what the future holds for Jose Bautista. During the offseason, he voiced his desires to remain in the league, but would only sign a major league contract. After he failed to secure a major league roster spot, he settled for a minor-league pact with his former general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
It’s possible that Bautista could head to Asia to attempt to revitalize his career, or he could just decide to retire. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports speculates that this is the end of the line for Joey Bats. As mentioned above, returning to Triple-A Gwinnett is always an option.
If he does decide to retire, Bautista will finish his career with 333 home runs, 932 RBI, a career slash line of .249/.361/.480, and a cumulative WAR of 33.9, which is 30th among active players.
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