Free agency has not quite panned out for Jose Bautista. This time last year he was looking to be paid like one of league’s best players, something in the range of five years and $150 million. That was his number, and no, there would be no hometown discount.
“Great!” I wrote at the time. “Get paid, man.” It was a ridiculous ask from a ridiculous man. There were probably only a handful of teams that could pay that much anyway. And at that rate, it was probably better they pay him than the Blue Jays.
Then the injuries, and perhaps his own hubris, hit. Bautista is now looking for just the teensiest bit more than the $17.2 million qualifying offer the Blue Jays extended to him in December.
Suddenly teams who had long given up on him are taking a look. The Orioles, who earlier had said they were out on Jose because their fans didn’t like him, have reached out to his agent. The Orioles! Even the Indians, fresh off their capture of Edwin Encarnacion, are considering a move. The Indians! Can you imagine? I do not want to.
Just like Jose, I find myself in a position I didn’t expect a year ago: wanting Jose to stay — needing Jose to stay. Why? Because the Blue Jays will probably be bad next year. Can we at least be bad with our fading all-star?
This is not a list of actual, potential destinations, but just a collection of personal, late night anxieties paired with GIFs indicating my associated level of despair.
The Orioles were so bad for so long, and then suddenly they won a pennant. They hit on Manny Machado, and rescued Chris Davis from of the steaming, dumpster fire that was his career, and beat the Blue Jays back to relevancy. Now they want Jose Bautista too?
Kansas City Royals
I think I just had an aneurysm.
Let me get this straight: We get Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins and they get Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Get this crap out of my face.
Boston Red Sox
But only because they’re so clearly that much better than the Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay Rays
Same thing as the Orioles. Barring last year they have been insufferably, nearly inexplicably good. Knowing them, they’ll pick up Jose and have him go off like it’s 2011 again.
Rougned Odor and Jose Bautista suddenly became best buds? Down on the list because it’s so improbable.
New York Mets
Remember when Alex Anthopoulos traded Noah Syndergaard and Travis D’Arnaud for R.A. “Game of Fucking Thrones” Dickey?