Jose Bautista, the player which has become an icon of the Bluejay’s, the adoration of fans, and the villain for others, signed a 18 million dollar contract for the 2017 season. However, the contract for the six time All-Star and three time silver slugger was less then desired.
Bautista had his eye on a five year deal, in the $100 million region. But, due to a dismal season, plagued with injuries and mishaps, the light at the end of the tunnel started to fade. Jose Bautista finished the 2016 season with a year, which Blue Jays general manger Ross Atkins put it: “Jose, at 35 years old had one of his worst years in eight years. And that’s a tough thing for a free agent of that age. It could have had some impact on the market.”
The impact to the market happened, but Bautista was not the only one to be affected by the offseason. Dan Symborski from ESPN summed it up this way: “Despite there being a lot of money and a very shallow free-agent market, the first base/corner outfield types either signed for noncrazy prices or still remain unemployed.” The many teams tightening the money belt effected players all around the league.
However, money wary teams were not the only problems for Bautista. Bautista also faced the outcome of his bat flips, hard slides, and stare downs of pitchers to overcome. To say Bautista has become the villain for many teams is an understatement. In the words of Dan Duquette of the Orioles when asked about signing Bautista, “Jose is a villain in Baltimore and I’m not going to go tell our fans that we’re courting Jose Bautista for the Orioles because they’re not going to be happy.”
So yes, Blue Jay fans may love Bautista, but there’s no lost love in him not being signed for the fans everywhere else. Jose Bautista may have been able to resign a one year contract with the Blue Jays, but the players future is shaking at best. The future of his baseball career comes down to the upcoming season in determining whether the 2016 was a blimp on the screen, or a omen of the years to come.
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