On Friday, Jays outfielder Jose Bautista told Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun that he has set a deadline for extension talks with the club. The slugger and the club have an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow and it seems like a safe bet that the meeting will go through as planned. While Bautista would like to sign a multiyear deal with the club, the Blue Jays have yet to put an offer on the table.
Today, Fidlin implores Toronto to lock the 30-year-old up with a multiyear pact. It's possible, he says, that the club is wary of signing another monster deal after having just gotten themselves out from under two monster contracts in the past year-and-a-half. It's also possible that Alex Anthopoulos & Co. are wary of Bautista's shocking and sudden emergence as a primetime player. After hitting .238/.329/.400 from 2004 through 2009, the veteran broke out in 2010, hitting .260/.378/.617 with a staggering 54 home runs – eclipsing his previous watermark of 16.
There remains a considerable gap between the two sides as Bautista seeks $10.5MM while the Blue Jays are offering $7.6MM. Fidlin argues that the outcome of the hearing is rather inconsequential in the scheme of things. The club has a limited time to work out a long-term deal with the Super Two star and must get a deal done while they can. If you were in Anthopoulos' position, what would you do?