Heyman: Bautista Prefers to Stay in Toronto and is Willing to Negotiate

Remember back to a few weeks ago when Jose Bautista said he wasn’t willing to negotiate a contract with the Blue Jays? Well, Joey Bats may have changed his tune and wants to strike a deal with the Jays after all.

The Jose Bautista contract talks may have died down in since the inception of Spring Training, but the status of Bautista continues to linger in the back of the Blue Jays’ minds.

Bautista has yet to see Spring Training action with the Blue Jays, but that hasn’t stopped him from grabbing headlines once again pertaining to his contract status.


Not much information has been broadcasted as of late in relation to contract talks with the Blue Jays, save for these two tweets from Jon Heyman earlier today.

Over the past few weeks, reports revealed that Jose Bautista’s asking price was around the $30 million dollar mark per season and according to Peter Gammons, Bautista is seeking a six-year deal.

At the very least, Jose Bautista is asking for 6 years and $180 million dollars from the Blue Jays … something in the neighbourhood of what Chris Davis got from the Orioles this offseason.

That may be Bautista’s “asking” price, but there’s absolutely no way he’s going to get it.

Unless … and that’s a very big “unless”, the Blue Jays structure the contract in a very creative way. If they included some sort of vesting options for plate appearances, games played or home runs, then the Blue Jays could mitigate a lot of risk involved with re-signing Jose Bautista long term.

Incentive-based contracts were never handed out under the previous regime headed by Alex Anthopoulos, but perhaps with Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins at the helm, that could become a possibility for a new Jose Bautista deal.

And if Jose Bautista truly prefers to stay with the Blue Jays, then surely he’ll be willing to take less to stay in Toronto. Not that he’d be giving the Blue Jays a hometown discount, but a preference to remain a Blue Jay suddenly gives the front office some much-needed leverage.


If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this entire Jose Bautista contract saga, it’s that Joey Bats is confident he will remain a productive baseball player into his late 30’s and early 40’s. Historical evidence may say contrary, but Bautista seems hellbent on proving people wrong and being the exception to the rule when it comes to players in the twilight of their career.

That said, I still don’t think I could re-sign Jose Bautista to a five or six year contract. As well as Bautista conditions his body and despite how in-shape he is for being 35 years old, the Blue Jays have to seriously consider whether it’s worth taking that big of a risk on one player.

Here’s the one caveat; unless the contract is structured in such a way that it protects the Blue Jays in the latter years of the deal,  Jose Bautista may be taking his services elsewhere at the end of 2016.

Image via Kim Clement/USA Today

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *