Is Jose Bautista the hot name on the MLB radar with only a few days remaining until Opening Day? Reports by several news outlets have many Major League teams inquiring about the veteran slugger to provide a big bat in the middle of a lineup.
It has been reported as well that the Atlanta Braves made an inquiry about Bautista’s availability, but took a pass. The Tampa Bay Rays have been rumored to have interest as well, and the Miami Marlins were said to have at one point considered him, but signed Cameron Maybin instead.
Per Brad Berreman of Fansided.com, Bautista hit 23 home runs over 157 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last year, but he posted a dismal .203/.308/.366 slash-line and he’s a statue in right field. Over the last two seasons, he has a .216/.333/.402 slash-line with 45 home runs over 1,203 plate appearances.
The 37-year-old still has plenty of value to a team in need.
Jose Bautista has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. His professional career began when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 20th round of the 2000 first year player draft. In 2010, Bautista became the 26th member of the 50-home run club while leading the major leagues in home runs for the first of two consecutive seasons and, from 2010–15, hit more home runs than any player in the major leagues.
An MLB All-Star selection six consecutive times, he has won three Silver Slugger Awards and two Hank Aaron Awards. In addition, Jose Bautista has received the American League Player of the Month Award five times and the Player of the Week four times. Before being traded to the Blue Jays, Bautista primarily played third base.
While there is speculation the Braves and Rays aren’t the only teams looking into acquiring Bautista, Berreman said there isn’t a defined number of organizations.
“Exactly what number Bautista or his agent would define as “several” is unknown, but it implies more than two,” Berreman wrote. “Any interested teams to fill that gap in count would have to be in the American League, where any value Bautista has left can be best cultivated as a DH.”