|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 01:02 am||
|The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly informed longtime right fielder Jose Bautista a couple weeks ago that they will not exercise their end of his $17-million mutual option for the 2018 campaign, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.
Bautista, then, will receive a $500,000 buyout and become a free agent this winter, though the 36-year-old wouldn't confirm Sunday in the Bronx that the club had told him of his fate.
"No comment," Bautista said after going 1-for-1 with a sacrifice fly in the Blue Jays' regular-season finale against the New York Yankees.
Despite a significant drop-off in performance this season, Bautista, a six-time All-Star, intends to play next year - and he's made it clear that he'd prefer to finish his career in Toronto. In 2017, after landing a one-year, $18.5-million deal from the Blue Jays in January, Bautista floundered, managing -0.3 WAR with a meager .674 OPS (80 wRC+) and 23 home runs in 157 games.
"I won’t really look at the numbers too much, they are what they are. I can’t change them," Bautista said. "All I can do is get ready for next season and be ready to contribute to the team that I’m with at that time. Right now I’m a Toronto Blue Jay, and that hasn’t changed. I’ve said it all along, this is where I want to be and finish my career. We’ll see what happens in the future. It’s out of my control now."
At the moment, however, it's hard to see how Bautista fits with the Blue Jays moving forward. With Kendrys Morales under contract for another two seasons, the designated hitter spot is already filled, and the club has several promising internal candidates primed to audition for playing time in right field, namely Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford.
If Bautista has to finish his career elsewhere, then, so be it.
"Contributing to daily wins is what it’s about for me," he said. "I tried to focus that on this year. I did an OK job, not as good as I’m used to, not as good as everybody’s used to seeing me, and that’s OK. There are good and bad years and for the most part my work tool, which is my body, is great, and all I’ve got to do is stay ready to go."