Blue Jays All-Time Lists

Blue Jays: Best trades in franchise history

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 8: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion #10 and Jose Bautista #19 and Josh Donaldson #20 stand for the playing of the Canadian anthem during lineup introductions before the start of action against the Texas Rangers in Game One of the American League Division Series during the 2015 MLB Playoffs at Rogers Centre on October 8, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 8: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion #10 and Jose Bautista #19 and Josh Donaldson #20 stand for the playing of the Canadian anthem during lineup introductions before the start of action against the Texas Rangers in Game One of the American League Division Series during the 2015 MLB Playoffs at Rogers Centre on October 8, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GA – MAY 17: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up before the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – MAY 17: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up before the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

August 21st, 2008- Blue Jays Obtained Jose Bautista From The Pirates In Exchange For Robinzon Diaz

On August 21, 2008, the Blue Jays and the Pittsburgh Pirates made an extremely minor trade. The Pirates sent the recently optioned Jose Bautista, while the Blue Jays traded a player to be named later, who eventually was Robinzon Diaz.

Initially, the trade was shrugged off as an unimportant, pedestrian deal that was made out of pity for both players. Bautista had bounced around and Diaz seemed to be itching for a chance at some big league time. No one could’ve imagined this immense impact this deal had on the future of the franchise.

Diaz would end up appearing in 43 games over the next two seasons, while Bautista would go on to mash 277 home runs for the Blue Jays over the next eight years. Currently sitting fifth among active players in home runs, Bautista, now 38, was named an All-Star in five consecutive seasons (2010-2015) and slashed an outstanding .268/.390/.555 over that span. He also won three Silver Slugger Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

A true franchise icon, Bautista racked up 288 homers (second in franchise history), 766 RBI (third), 219 doubles (seventh), 803 walks (second), 1103 hits (sixth), 49 intentional walks (third), 790 runs (second), and 56 stolen bases (23rd) in 1235 games with the Blue Jays.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of Jose Bautista’s influence on Blue Jays baseball. From the iconic bat flip to the abundant amount of awe-inspiring throws from the outfield, Bautista became a staple of Toronto baseball in the 21st century.

Since leaving Toronto, Bautista has logged 122 games for the Braves, Mets, and Phillies, slashing .203/.348/.378 in 399 plate appearances. Having previously played for the Royals, Rays, and Orioles, he is currently 40th among active players in WAR (35.6) and second among active right-fielders in JAWS. Though he likely won’t be back in a Blue Jays uniform anytime soon, fans will always have a special place in their heart for the one they call “Joey Bats”. A near lock to be immortalized on the Level of Excellence, Jose Bautista will always be a Blue Jays legend.

Jays Journal Contributor: Hayden Godfrey

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