Blue Jays: In hindsight, the worst trades that weren’t made
Trading Bautista at the 2016 deadline?
I’m including this one even though I probably shouldn’t bother. To me and several baseball writers that I respect a great deal, the whole thing seemed ridiculous at the time, and still does, really.
However, there were rumours that the Blue Jays were exploring the idea of trading Jose Bautista back in 2016. Yes, in their second year of their playoff run, which also happened to be the final year of the contract he was playing on at the time.
There were plenty of rumours bouncing around the league, and it made sense that rival GMs would be calling to see if he was available. However, there was no way the Blue Jays were going to move their franchise icon in the middle of another year they were trying to win the World Series, not unless the return was a slam dunk. Even then, they needed Bautista to approve a trade, something that wasn’t going to happen unless it made a ridiculous amount of sense for the veteran.
There were even rumours of Bautista heading to the Washington Nationals in exchange for Max Scherzer. If that was true, the Blue Jays made a huge mistake in not taking that deal, although again, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever close to actually happening, and they needed Bautista’s approval to make a deal anyway.
The one part of trading him that would have made sense is the way things ended for “Joey Bats” in Toronto. He rode off into the sunset as a still-beloved player, but his story didn’t end the way anyone wanted to see it go in Toronto. Maybe everyone would have been better off if he had been traded in 2016, although it’s hard to imagine the playoff run and postseason without him kicking around, even if the iconic home run came a year earlier.