View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Sun Oct 30th, 2016 07:01 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
Posts: 44516
Heading into free agency coming off a down season doesn't appear enough for Jose Bautista to not bet on himself on the open market.

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins confirmed last week that the team plans to issue a one-year qualifying offer to Bautista in the upcoming weeks, though the slugger is expected to decline it in hopes he'll land a multi-year deal, a major league source told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The 36-year-old headlines a rather weak free-agent class that also includes teammate Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, Mike Napoli, Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, and possibly Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to opt out of his contract with the New York Mets.

There was some thought that Bautista would take the one-year, $17.2-million qualifying offer in order to rebuild some of his value after suffering through an injury-plagued 2016 season. Separate knee and toe issues limited him to 116 games in which he hit .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 24 doubles. It was the worst batting average he's posted in nine years in Toronto.

Even if Bautista rejects the qualifying offer, the Blue Jays could still sign him to a contract. Should he turn the qualifying offer down and sign elsewhere, the Jays would receive a compensatory draft pick.

Following the Blue Jays elimination from the postseason, Bautista told reporters that it wasn't the right time to talk about his future, but acknowledged that it was possible he played his last game for the franchise.

"I don't really feel like I'm in the proper state of mind to be talking about that," Bautista said. "I know it's a possibility, but we'll see what happens."