In a very fast sequence of events, the New York have signed recently released, former Blue Jay Jose Bautista to a one-year major league deal earlier this afternoon.
The rumors are true. Jose Bautista is a Met. Boy, that was fast. As our own Clayton Richer mentioned less than 24 hours ago, the Mets were interested in Bautista immediately following his release by the Atlanta Braves.
His new deal with the Mets, which was collaboratively reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and the official Mets Twitter, will pay Bautista the major league minimum and is effective immediately. The deal was officially confirmed at 2:50 PM EST.
Surprisingly enough, Bautista is already on the 25-man roster for the Mets and has actually already registered at-bats as a member of the team. At the time of this writing, he’s 1-for-3 so far in Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins. He has struck out twice and has a double, playing left field for the Metropolitans.
As mentioned above, this new deal came extremely quickly. While the deal itself was in the works since early Tuesday morning, it was shocking to see Bautista get picked up so quickly given his recent struggles that led to his release from Atlanta. The full story on his release can be found here.
Entering tonight’s ballgame, Joey Bats has slashed .143/.250/.343 with two home runs and 12 strikeouts in 12 games. Bautista was actually briefly a member of the Mets, as he was involved in a series of trade deadline deals that sent him to and from New York in a matter of hours. Those deals happened during the 2004 season when Bautista was 23.
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For now, Joey Bats will get the chance to log some regular at-bats in New York due to injuries to Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets offence is certainly not the same without their two sluggers, so they’ll be looking for some power any way they can, even if it is in the form of a recently released veteran. It has also been suggested that the Mets will use Bautista strictly against left-handed pitchers, given his strong splits against southpaws throughout his career.
He’ll also get the chance to flex his outfield muscles yet again, something he was not able to do with a member of Alex Anthopoulos’ Braves. In Tuesday’s game, Bautista batted 5th in the Mets lineup.
Bautista, 37, will get one more crack at the major leagues. Many speculated that his release marked the end of his career. Joey Bats, who was adamant he could receive a major league deal in the offseason, has finally received one, even if it is May 22nd.
I think it’s safe to say that while many Jays fans were hoping for his retirement, many are also very happy that he’s able to continue his major league career and keep doing what he loves. As a longtime Blue Jay, it’s good to see. Regardless of how long his tenure with the Mets lasts, it’s undoubtedly good to see him still on the field and playing ball.