The Blue Jays met with longtime slugger Jose Bautista today and have resumed talks to bring him back to Toronto, broadcaster Hazel Mae tweets and FanRag’s Jon Heyman confirms (Twitter links). Heyman had previously reported that the Jays had shown little interest in reopening discussions with Bautista, so their meeting with him today appears to represent a change in direction. He adds that the Jays perked up around the time that the Indians expressed interest in Bautista, which itself seems to be a new development. (Heyman adds that the Orioles might have been another possibility, but that they preferred to keep the draft pick they would lose as a result of signing Bautista, and they apparently actually told Bautista’s representation that Orioles fans simply didn’t like him.)
The Jays have already added Kendrys Morales to their DH mix this offseason, but they could certainly still use Bautista in right field. The Indians, meanwhile, were recently in talks with another Blue Jays free agent, Edwin Encarnacion, but at last check, those talks didn’t appear to be moving forward. Bautista is coming off a modest (for him) .234/.366/.452 season, and he rejected a qualifying offer, but MLBTR still projects that his established power bat could earn him a three-year, $51MM deal this offseason.