DINGERS FROM THE 6IX
Baseball Prospectus reports that the Toronto Blue Jays reached an agreement on a 1 year contract worth 18 million dollars. Incentives and options could raise the total up to 3 years and 60 million dollars.
This is a very good deal for the Blue Jays. Without any real safe free agents outfielders left on the open marker, signing Bautista was among the only viable options the team had. In signing Bautista, the Jays have filled a major hole in the outfield, and now have just one major missing piece in left.
Bautista has been among the games best players since turning his career around in 2010. His bat is still some of the most feared in baseball, and he managed to record a WRC+ of 122 in what was considered a bad year. Assuming his hitting remains solid, this deal could prove to be extremely beneficial to the Jays next season, as it now means that full time at bats do not have to be handed out to Melvin Upton Jr, and Ezequiel Carrera. Although Bautista is a talented hitter, there are some serious concerns, mainly with his defence. His DRS of -8 last season was the lowest total of his career, and a -5.6 UZR shows that his defence is deteriorating. With declining range and a weakening arm, his defence will surely cause me to break something next season when he fails to make a play, his bat will surely make up for the occasional defensive error.
This leaves the Blue Jays with only one major hole remaining in their lineup, that being at left field or first base. A possible lineup combination come opening day will be Travis-Donaldson-Bautista-Morales-Tulowitzki-Martin-Pearce-Pillar-a LF. Whether the team decides to peruse rumoured trade options like Andrew McCutchen or sign a smaller free agent like Angel Pagan, the team should consider at least one smaller move to fill up the lineup.
Of course the Blue Jays have lost a significant amount of space in there budget as well a draft pick but this should not be of concern if the team is in contention. With whatever budget remains, the team needs to consider other outfielders as well as at least one reliever.
But that’s something to consider tomorrow. Today, we need to be thankful of what this legend has done for the Blue Jays and be thankful for what is to come. And so I thank Jose Bautista for remaining with the Blue Jays, even if the deal did not take place on a Friday.
Back in November I wrote about Jose’s biggest moments with the Blue Jays. You can check it out here: http://dingersfromthe6ix.weebly.com/home/jose-bautista-his-time-as-our-blue-jay