Per ESPN.com and other news sources, former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is bringing his bat back to the United States.
The power hitting Bautista has signed a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves, where he will play third base for the National League East team.
According to ESPN.com, under the minor-league deal announced Wednesday, Jose Bautista would receive a $1 million, one-year contract if he is added to the 40-man major-league roster.
The six-time All-Star will report to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the Atlanta Braves’ extended spring training complex. There to work himself into game shape. It’s a move that could help the youthful Braves, a franchise that could make you run toward the playoffs this season given the plethora of young talent on the roster.
“Joey Bats” is the type of power hitter the Braves lack in the middle of their lineup. With Freddie Freeman off to a hot start and young players like Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies still learning to play on the Major League level, it’s a low risk, high reward deal that could pay off for the Braves.
Jose Bautista, 37, has been unsigned after spending the past 10 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays where he emerged as one of baseball’s most accomplished and feared sluggers, the ESPN.com story explains. Primarily used as a right fielder for the past eight seasons, Batista has appeared in just 12 games at third base at the start of the 2012 season.
Bautista played third base early in his career extensively, when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and started out in Toronto at the hot corner.
Jose Bautista has hit at least 22 homeruns in each of the last eight seasons including a career high 54 for the Blue Jays in 2010. He has four seasons where he said at least 100 RBI, but his production has severely dipped the past two seasons.