Jose Bautista will be bringing his power back to the Toronto Blue Jays. The club will have him return on a one-year contract. It will pay him more than $17.2 million, and includes a mutual option for 2018. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com was first to report the two sides were nearing a deal.
Sources: #BlueJays and Jose Bautista have agreed to a deal. Contract includes options that could keep him in Toronto through 2019.
Jose Bautista Re-signs with Blue Jays
The 36-year-old slugger came far short of his desired nine-figure contract that he reportedly asked for in a potential extension with the the Jays during Spring Training at the beginning of 2016. Bautista also rejected the Blue Jays $17.2 million qualifying offer which they extended to him at the end of 2016.
Bautista was limited to 116 games in 2016, as he battled a turf toe and a Grade 1 left knee strain. He finished the season batting .234/.366/.452, with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and was not selected to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2009.
Given Bautista’s age, his injury-plagued 2016 season, the amount of money he was seeking, and the draft pick compensation attached to him, his market was a lot thinner than he perhaps originally expected.
Bautista had been a journeyman earlier in his career. From 2004-2008, Bautista was a member of six different teams. Much of this movement came in the summer of 2004, when he was on five teams between June and July. He started on the Baltimore Orioles, was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, purchased by the Kansas City Royals, traded to the New York Mets, and was then traded the same day to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bautista experienced some stability with the Pirates, as he was in Pittsburgh for five seasons and 400 games. With the Bucs, he hit .241/.329/.403 with 43 home runs and 159 RBI.
He was then traded in to the Blue Jays in August of 2008. In 2010, he had a break-out season with the team as he hit .260/.378/.617 with 54 home runs and 124 RBI. That production earned him an All-Star appearance, a Silver Slugger Award, and a fourth place finish in the AL MVP Award voting.
Now, Bautista will continue his career with Toronto.