A Jon Heyman report from Thursday morning indicated that Jose Bautista has received a few contract offers around $1 million, but that he’s unhappy with the deals and is considering retirement instead.
Except, maybe not.
Obviously, it doesn’t help Bautista when looking for a deal if teams believe that he may retire instead. Heyman includes a quote from Bautista’s agent, Jay Alou, in the article.
“He’s in better shape than ever!” Alou said. “He definitely wants to play. It’s not happening.”
The 37-year-old himself denied the report to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports in a story late last night.
“Right now, I’m just considering my options, and it depends on two criteria,” Passan quotes Bautista as saying. “That’s winning and making sure that my family’s in a good situation.”
From Passan’s article, it seems as if Bautista is simply weighing the pros and cons of his multiple contract offers. Passan writes, “[Bautista] is weighing the desire of the teams to contend as well as how the location will impact his three young daughters.”
From that quote, it seems as if returning to the Toronto Blue Jays would be ideal for Bautista. Quite obviously, however, that won’t happen.
It’s not just that the Blue Jays have no need (or room) for Bautista on the major-league roster. The influx of talented outfielders in triple-A, including Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Dwight Smith Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera, leaves a veteran with little upside unlikely to take playing time away from top prospects (and Carrera).
Essentially, aside from the potential benefits of a PR move, even a minor-league deal is almost impossible with the Blue Jays.
Of course, that’s assuming that the comments from Bautista and Alou are the truth. It doesn’t do Bautista, or Alou, any good to have rumours floating around about the player’s potential retirement, even if it is true. If Bautista has any hope of receiving a contract offer significantly above $1 million, teams can’t think that he’s considering retirement.
Find Mark on Twitter @MarkColley. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.