Jose Bautista (and Edwin Encarnacion, but we'll discuss him another day) is heading into the last season of his contract and, of course, there is a lot of talk about a possible contract extension. So I thought I'd ask, if it was up to you, what sort of extension would you offer him?
Jose is coming into his age 35 season, so whatever extension you offer, is starting at age 36 and going up from there. Not that it really matters, but in OOTP Baseball, I try to trade off players by age 34, because, well, they tend to decline after that age. By the mid-30's players are into decline, the only question is how quickly.
Then, this isn't OOTP and Bautista has been the face of the organization for the past several years. There is a value to that. He's been under paid for years. That doesn't mean we should over pay him for the next few years, but I think it means we owe him a little bit of loyalty.
At some point, over the next few years, he will have to be transitioned away from right field. I think, this season, I'd leave him in right, mostly because we have a handle of players that play first and DH, but I would start selling him on the idea of playing first base. I'd like to think first would appeal to him, closer to the action, a better place to be a leader.
There is no amount of money that's too much for a guy that could do that bat flip.
I'd likely offer him something like $22 million for 2 years with a team option for a third year at around the same value. What would you do? If that's close, I'd continue to negotiate.
What would you offer him?