Why is Jose Bautista in Toronto? The Rational, Unexciting Reason

Ordinarily, if a Major League Baseball player were to make an unexpected visit to Toronto, the rumour mill would run rampant. If anyone were to spot a free agent in Toronto, the presses would suddenly go into overdrive.

So, why then did Jose Bautista make an uncharacteristic visit to Toronto at the end of January? Yesterday, Bautista let his Snapchat followers know he was in Toronto, but he didn’t explain the purpose of his visit.

Cue the speculation in 3, 2, 1 …


Was it business? Was it pleasure? It didn’t take long for Jays Twitter to run with it and hypothesize why this Blue Jays franchise icon was back on Canadian soil in Toronto.

Wild theories for Bautista’s visit included: he’s here to re-sign with the Blue Jays, he’s here to iron out the details to come back as the new in-studio Blue Jays analyst for Sportsnet, Bautista was here to oversee his statue being built outside the Rogers Centre.

Yes, it’s fun to imagine any and all reasons why Bautista is back in the city which watched him blossom into a superstar, but the explanation for his visit is totally logical and very unexciting. It’s a watch. He’s in Toronto because of a watch.

Hat tip to Liv (@spice_run) for noticing this: Bautista’s visit just so happens to coincide with luxury watchmaker Hublot releasing a limited edition #19 timepiece in Toronto.

Sorry to burst your bubble Blue Jays fans, but that’s probably 90% of the reason Bautista is visiting his old homestead this week. Now, he could be here on “other business” as well, but more than likely, it’s for the watch release.

For whatever reason, this sent me down a Youtube and Google rabbit hole to find anything related to Joey Bats and his affinity for watches. It turns out he is quite the timepiece connoisseur.

In the video above, he’s actually wearing a Hublot watch, so it makes sense that they’d put together something special for one of their most famous customers.

Sneaker companies have made custom cleats for guys like Marcus Stroman and Josh Donaldson, but having a watch designed in your honour is something different altogether.


I can’t explain what it is, but it’s quite endearing to hear Jose geek out about watches, of all things. He also spoke to the Hollywood Reporter back in 2015 for a feature on his favourite watches. Again, he mentions the Hublot 3000 as his go-to timepiece.

Although it was fun to speculate for a few hours, it seems like Bautista’s visit to Toronto was nothing more than a simple PR appearance for a watch company.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.