Jose Bautista Next Red Sox DH? Not So Fast

One Boston outlet suggests that Blue Jays slugger, Jose Bautista could be the guy who replaces David Ortiz as Red Sox DH.

 

It is known across MLB that Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion begin this season with the possibility that they will hit free agency 6 months from now. It is also known that current Red Sox DH, David Ortiz will be retiring at that point. It isn’t much of a leap to grab the low hanging fruit and attempt to make a connection between these situation. That is exactly what Nick Cafardo attempts to do at the Boston Globe.

Cafardo says that the Red Sox very well could target one of the Blue Jays Dynamic Duo, particularly Jose Bautista.

The basics of Cafardo’s argument is that the right handed power that he would bring to Fenway park would make the two a logical fit. Cafardo provides comments from Bautista to fuel that fire: “I hit a lot of fly balls that get caught in other places but that get to the wall or over it at Fenway.” According to Baseball Reference, he’s hit 21 HR in 56 games at Fenway. It’s true that he’s had success. But, does that mean that he’s burning to go there?

Bautista commented on what he’d like to do thusly:

Do I want to stay here [Toronto]? Yes. Do I wish it comes to free agency? Absolutely not. When you enjoy success and you enjoy the people, why would you want to leave? Especially when you contribute not only to the field product but the impact on the team in the market and the revenue-generating and to the revenue capabilities of the franchise. But it takes two to tango.

This comment highlights the value that Joey Bats sees in himself. He knows what he’s done for the organization and the city. That means, he knows that his value would be highest in Toronto. Other teams may not be willing to pay a 35 yr old (even with the resume he comes with) the type of deal he’s looking for. So, it is in his best interest to entertain (and maybe even push) the idea of staying with the Blue Jays.

Bautista goes on to say that he’s not against contract talks during the season, which like everything else he says, may put the public pressure on the team. For its part, the club does not look like it cares much for public pressure at this point. Instead, it will methodically go about its business and let this year’s performance dictate their next move. 6 more months of information is what they’re after.

The Boston Red Sox will have the same advantage. They’ll prepare themselves to move on past Ortiz, who has become just as iconic to his team. However, one has to ask just how much this franchise has to spend. No team has unlimited finances. And, it is clear that Bautista (and Edwin) will see a hefty increase on their 2015 salaries. At this point, it looks like Bautista could be seeing $30M on 4 yrs or maybe even more over 6 yrs. Are the Sox willing to make that kind of commitment for the second straight offseason. It’s not impossible, but Bautista may not be the guy.

Whenever this conversation comes up, folks point to the age factor and just how much you can trust in a 35 yr old. Bautista is not afraid to tell you how well he takes care of himself and that he’s not worried. But, for $30M per year, you can’t blame a team for wanting to wait and see how this season goes.

Nick Cafardo is trying to explore ideas for his beloved Red Sox. Whether his motivations are pure or not, he shouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions: “Bautista can’t come out and say that he’d love to be with the Red Sox. So I’ll say it for him. He’d be a worthy successor to David Ortiz.”

Jose Bautista is going to get paid. All signs point to him preferring to be cashing Blue Jays’ cheques. We shouldn’t take the uneventful spring as a sign that he is 100% gone 6 months from now. That also means that we should not be so quick to do up graphics of him sporting another team’s colours.

 

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER: CC-BY-SA2.0

 

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