The defending NL Champs would like to add the AL home run leader. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun adds the Phillies to the list of teams interested in Jose Bautista (via Twitter) and explains that Philadelphia has scouted eight of the last nine Blue Jays games.
The Blue Jays are demanding a lot for Scott Downs and others this summer, so their asking price for Bautista is likely massive. The 29-year-old has 30 homers (1st in the AL), 57 walks (4th in the AL) and nine outfield assists (1st in the AL). He earns $2.4MM this year, could earn $6-7MM in 2011 and will hit free agency after that.
With Chase Utley out, the Phillies could move Placido Polanco to second base and play Bautista at third. Like the Blue Jays, the Phils are extremely active, pursuing Roy Oswalt and others. The Tigers, White Sox, Braves and Giants have also been connected to Bautista this month, so the Phillies will have to out-bid a number of teams to obtain the former Rule 5 pick.
Bautista told the FAN 590 tonight that he enjoys Toronto and would consider signing a multi-year deal with the Blue Jays. The team is not discussing a deal with the slugger now, agent Bean Stringfellow confirmed to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.