Possible Destinations: Jose Bautista

You're forgiven if you overlooked Jose Bautista coming into the season, too. He had never had a slugging percentage above .420 in any one year and at 29, he wasn't a likely candidate to gain much power. But Bautista, who hit ten home runs last September, finds himself all over the leaderboard a quarter of the way into the season. He started the day third in the league in home runs and fifth in extra base hits, so we can't ignore him any longer. 

It's too early to write the Blue Jays off, however. They won again today and they've been among baseball's best teams in May. But should GM Alex Anthopoulos decide to sell, he'll have a versatile and powerful player to market. Does that make Bautista the new Ben Zobrist? Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says no – or at least not yet. Bautista has only hit this well for two and a half months, so he has some work to do. 

Comparisons aside, there's no question that Bautsita would appeal to major league teams if the Blue Jays fall out of contention this summer. Whether or not advanced metrics say Bautista's a good defender (they don't) the Blue Jays obviously consider him a major league defender at third and in the outfield. Whether or not you believe in his power, he has out-homered Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard since last September. Plus, Bautista's under team control through 2011. 

If he becomes available, the Yankees could have interest, given the injuries to Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson; the Twins could decide they're more comfortable using Nick Punto as a utility player; the Mariners could spell Jose Lopez at third and use Bautista at DH and in right; the powerless A's could inquire; the Nationals could put Bautista in right; there's no logical position for him in Houston, but the Astros could use the power; the Padres could consider Bautista if they become buyers. In short, many teams could have interest in Bautista, but for now his bat is keeping the Jays in contention.

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14 Comments on "Possible Destinations: Jose Bautista"

5 years 3 months ago

The original Garrett Jones?

5 years 3 months ago

Bautista may be keeping the Jays in the hunt right now, but… does anyone really believe they’re going to threaten the Yankees or Rays at any point this season? Anyone? Bueller? I mean, I’m a Jays fan through and through and I don’t believe that. As much as I’ve enjoyed things so far, I’ve no illusions that they’re likely to continue.

So, Bautista. Between him and some of the Jays pitchers, Toronto should have plenty of good chips to put on the market come June. Should be interesting.

5 years 3 months ago

They are playing so well with Lind and Hill struggling, I’m really tempted to say that they can stay in contention. With the incredible amount of depth, the pitching staff probably won’t lose a beat.

However, there are always unforeseen things that go wrong and Anthopoulos is intent on shipping out the veterans so we may be left with some holes. The Yankees, meanwhile, will be adding all kinds of players.

5 years 3 months ago

The all-or-nothing approach to the offense concerns me. This is a team that seems to be allergic to walks. This is also a team that’s 5-7 against the other teams in its division– once they start playing a beefier in-division schedule, they’re likely to slump. I suppose that doesn’t mean that they’re a bad team, just an unlucky one. And there I go making an observation that absolutely no one else has! Genius!

Anyway, the offense. Yeah, Hill and Lind are struggling, and while they’ve got a good shot to pick it up at some point, I think it’s just as likely that the other sources of power (especially Bautista) will wind down at some point. And while the pitching is deep, you’re looking at a lot of guys who can’t/shouldn’t throw that many innings. From that perspective, it’s probably best that this team doesn’t contend come September; they’ll be better off when the rest of the cavalry arrives in 2011 and 2012.

5 years 3 months ago

Jays should definetely deal Bautista with him blocking Snider anyways when Travis comes back (now with E5 back). I doubt he keeps up this torrid HR pace but man is he raking right now. Jays have a lot of trade chips at the deadline:
Gonzalez, Bautista, Downs, Gregg, Marcum. Unfortunately, the one guy they NEED to get rid of has zero value (Overbay). Also Frasor and Eveland would be nice to trade but probably have no value right now as well.

5 years 3 months ago

As a Jay’s fan, I like this position. Having a decent streak on the go will only help if they decide to sell come the dead line.

As for Beautista (BOW-tista as Buck would call him) I say he should be on the block.

5 years 3 months ago

Given his versatility and the struggles of Branden Wood, the Angels (who love multi-positional flexibility) looks like a good fit.

5 years 3 months ago

The Jays should just get rid of terrible Encarnacion at third and let Jose have the position for a while.

5 years 3 months ago

Can’t wait for the deadline. A firesale of mildly warm talent will reap a great deal. None of those guys may help in 2012 so get out while the goings good.
An remember, Alex A was on the last 4 drafts that TO did, so he knows what he would have liked to have picked up during those Richardi years. Don’t think he’s not scouring the minors looking for all those gems he “woulda, coulda” if he was boss back then. He’s the man now, so it’ll be like he was ghost riding JP on those draft days.
Fix the org in your own image son.

5 years 3 months ago

people…you really need to realize that an out-of-nowhere phenomenal increase in power means the steroids era isnt close to over

5 years 3 months ago

@hullo: Marcum won’t be traded. He’s a stud and is still under team control and he is young.

Players who are likely to be traded: Downs, Frasor, Overbay, Bautista, Encarnasion (maybe if any takers), Eveland, Gregg (maybe), Gonzalez and Buck (who have been surprising like Bautista with power)

Bautista power has surprised me but last year he ended the year pretty well. He’s not hitting for average but him, Gonzalez, and Buck all have been hitting homeruns at the right time.

I’m surprised you guys haven’t done anything on Gregg either who wasn’t considering a good signing by the Jays but has been absolute stud so far.

Toronto has tons of trade chips to play with and they likely will because we won’t be in contention. Heck we’re like 4.5 games back right now even though we have a pretty good record and Red Sox will creep up eventually.

5 years 3 months ago

Even with how good Pujols, A-Rod, etc are I doubt even if they were resting that they would hit 20 homeruns in 2 months (September and April)

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 3 months ago

Say Bautista is hitting roughly .250/.350/.510/.860 [rough average to what he’s hitting now] at the deadline, and factor in his defense according to UZR..

UZR stats for kicks:

3B -3.1 [1.4 in 2009 with roughly same amount of innings]
LF – -1.6 in 2009 [no 2010 innings in LF]
CF – 0.3
RF – -0.6

He’s also played very little 1B and 2B.

With that theoretical offense and ability to play roughly average-to-slightly above average defense at all positions minus catcher, and team control for 2011, what is that worth in a trade?

My guess would be at least a B+ prospect.

[This was a poorly set-up comment. Deal with it.]

Andy Mc
5 years 3 months ago

September numbers + April + 1/2 May numbers there, friend.