Blue Jays former star acquired by the Phillies in late trade
After reports surfaced that the Philadelphia Phillies claimed Jose Bautista on waivers, speculation began to grow. Now, the deal is official, with the Phils now getting the one they call “Joey Bats”.
Not unexpectedly, Jose Bautista, Blue Jays legend and solid New York Mets outfielder, has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade, while Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports confirmed that the Phillies will send a player to be named later or cash to New York.
This move comes 24 hours after an initial report from Ken Rosenthal noted that the Phillies had claimed Bautista on revocable trade waivers. Andy Martino of SportsNet New York added yesterday on Twitter that it was “likely” that the two teams would eventually work out a deal before the two day claiming deadline. Now, Bautista will suit up for his third National League East team of the year, having previously appeared briefly in an Atlanta Braves uniform.
For the season, the slugger is slashing .196/.339/.364 with 11 home runs and 14 doubles. In 83 games with the Mets, he’s hit .204/.351/.367 with 84 strikeouts in 302 plate appearances. Continuing his excellent track record of plate discipline and base on balls, he’s posted a 16.4 BB% so far.
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Making the league minimum in terms of salary, this is a great move for the Phillies. In Bautista, they acquire a veteran slugger who has shown signs of his former self in his shortened 2018 season.
For Bautista, this trade represents another chance to get back into the postseason for the first time since 2016. A Blue Jays playoff hero, he has slashed a solid .243/.364/.541 in 20 career postseason games, adding six dingers and 16 RBI to his playoff totals.
Lately, Joey Bats has scuffled at the dish, with only 11 hits in his last 66 PAs. Mostly, Bautista will be relied on for pinch hitting and fourth outfielder duties. Along with the newest Phillie, former Marlins masher Justin Bour, Bautista adds to an already impressive Phillies bench.
For many happy Jays fans, the Phillies now become one of the teams they’ll likely cheer for in the playoffs, seeing as the boys in blue will not be playing meaningful baseball in September this year.