The Braves have announced the signing of veteran slugger Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal. Per the organization, he’ll head to extended spring camp and will line up at third base. The deal would pay him at a $1MM rate in the majors, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
While Bautista has maintained he still hoped to play in the coming season after sitting out Spring Training, this news comes as a surprise. The Braves have long been expected to fill out their outfield with top prospect Ronald Acuna, which seemed to make them an unlikely destination for Bautista.
In a twist, though, Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos — who was with the Blue Jays when Bautista broke out and turned into a superstar — will give the veteran a chance to return to the hot corner at 37 years of age. Bautista certainly has spent plenty of time there, but the vast majority of his experience at third came in the distant past. Needless to say, this isn’t the third-base move that many anticipated at the start of the 2017-18 offseason.
Bautista will not only be looking to show he’s capable of returning to the infield after mostly plying his trade in the grass over the past nine seasons. He’ll also have to prove he can bounce back from a marked decline over the prior two campaigns.
Heading into the 2017 campaign, which Bautista spent with the Blue Jays after having to settle for a one-year deal in free agency, the hope was the his 2016 effort was just a blip. Bautista had experienced a big power drop, after all, but largely maintained his other-worldly plate discipline and still reached base at a healthy .366 clip.
But the most recent season did not go as hoped for the ever-confident veteran. Bautista hit 23 home runs but carried a miserable .203/.308/.366 slash in his 686 plate appearances. He also drew walks and went down on strikes at rates (12.2% and 24.8%, respectively) worse than he had since way back in 2008 — which is also the last time he spent the majority of his time at third.
It’s certainly an interesting gambit for the Braves, whose current plans at the hot corner involve riding out a Ryan Flaherty hot streak, mixing in Charlie Culberson, and waiting for Johan Camargo to return from the DL (while hoping he can repeat a surprisingly solid debut season). If Bautista can return to anything approaching the form he showed at the plate between 2010 and 2015, when he was one of the game’s very best hitters, he could boost a team that is playing solid baseball out of the gates but has cause to anticipate some regression from certain players.
good to see him get a shot !
last time he got a real shot was by Odor
Where my clones at?!?!
really wasn’t much of a shot even then…
Would have been more intriguing if Texas signed him
he got 686 PA last year, so… your joke doesn’t really apply. nice try.
I thought it was funny.
Bautista got the last laugh when lazy Odor threw wildly to Moreland, who then rushed a throw to the plate to end the 2016 ALDS. Now Odor wears braces.
Interesting to see people whose team loses a playoff series in embarassing fashion think their “moral” victory is punching another player in the face.
So many people that can’t take a damned joke.
Absolutely. The whole narrative around Bautista being a villain was created by Ranger fans and the tear stained cheeks of those cheering for the other team as Bats crushed it time and time again. LEGEND!
“Multiple major league offers” LOL
Third base? Really?
Wow that’s a good pick up by the Braves
Ryan Howard 2.0
Not really, but wouldn’t be too surprising
Minus the crippling contract.
Before signing with the Rockies, Ryan Howard was released by the Braves— he was on Braves’ AAA roster
Maybe that’s what he meant
It is a waste of minor league roster space. If anything go ahead and promote Austin Riley to AAA, the dude is killing it in AA this young season (after performing great in AA last year too).
The braves are already on record for wanting to take things slow w/ Riley. Why rush him this year, through AAA and into MLB?
2019 is more likely if he does hold his own in AAA.
I am not saying promote Riley to the majors, just to AAA. Riley spent half the season in AA last season and has destroyed it so far this year. He needs a new challenge. Get him in AAA to face new challenges. Even if he hits well in AAA there isn’t a need to promote him to the majors until September at the earliest (and more likely in 2019 the same type treatment as Acuna this season).
The talent level difference between AAA and AA is marginal. It’s becoming increasingly common to see guys go from AA to the big leagues without a stop in AAA. Riley only has about 250 PA’s in AA anyway. He’s hitting well now but he’s only 50 PA’s in. That’s the exact kind of rushing I hate to see teams do. There’s nothing wrong with getting a guy a full year of AB’s at a level.
When a player signs a minor league deal, I assume that means they automatically play for a minor league team and have to play their way onto the major league roster? I’m asking since these types of posts never really say which minor league team a player will suit up for. Can anyway clarify this for me please?
I’m not positive on this, so if someone knows more please step in, but I don’t think they are contractually required to spend any time in the minors. The point of the minor league deal is to avoid guaranteeing a spot on the major leauge roster, giving the team the option of keeping them in minors. Also requiring less $.
He does not have to be on a specific minor league team, he is just under contract to the braves organization but not on the 40 man roster
This is correct. This time of year, it likely means he goes to extended spring training to work out with all the rest of the ~40 or so players not currently assigned to a team..
After XST is over and short-season leagues begin, June he could still theoretically be signed and not assigned to any team, but it’s less likely because there’s nowhere for him to work out..
If you see a big name player signed to a minors deal it usually means they are attempting to make a comeback and not organizational filler. To that point the team might not actually say which minor league team they are headed to. Usually a signing after an injury could land a player in AA depending on how good that League’s pitching is. Would be helpful to build some confidence or see people that aren’t themselves working back from injury. Sorry if this didn’t help that much.
I think I understand what you’re saying. I appreciate it! Must be humbling to be the top dog and then suddenly end up signing a MiLB contract. Ouch.
Often they don’t ever play a minor league game, or just a game or two at each level. It’s just a way to get the player under contract for very little risk so they can bring him in house and see what he’s got left. If he shows well at extended spring training they’ll call him up and the contract will convert to a MLB deal. There’s zero chance Bautista will play at AA or AAA for two months trying to earn his way up as though he were 23 years old.
It just means he won’t have a 40-man roster spot to begin his tenure in the organization. Minors deals are signed with MLB orgs, not specific affiliates, and in many cases the team doesn’t initially specify an assignment (particularly in the offseason). In this case, the post does say where he’ll be assigned to begin, which is extended spring. He will likely end up at an affiliate before potential MLB activation, but that’s not known at this point.
I really wish that the MLB would come up with a better term than “minor league contract” because it adds a lot of confusion.
Perhaps “Non-Guaranteed Contract”
or “Non-Roster Contract”
It wouldn’t eliminate all of the confusion, but it would be slightly more descriptive than “minor league”
Hey, you 3 geniuses for voting every comment – care to elaborate if you know more than everyone else posting?
Guessing May 15th opt-out?
Braves are officially the MLB’s retirement home
I can think of older squads.
They’ve signed late career players in the recent years. Howard, Colon, Dickey for example
Yes, but non of those players are on the roster this season.
Lots of teams do that. Utley to Dodgers for example. What’s your point? They have a young team overall. Any rebuilding team in history brings in vets to fill holes / leadership.
Oh is that what he meant?
Remember when this dude was talking about a 9 figure deal back in 2016? He didn’t even get 20 MM.
should have taken another extension… i think he got offered a 3 year 75 or something like that before 2017.
Well a minor league deal probably means that the braves don’t have any room on 40 man roster so they will have to drop someone off the 40 man to make room for him. or they do have room but don’t want to commit to a guarantee contract.
he’s a waste of a roster space anyway. acuna will be up b4 he does.
Or it’s a simpler answer, namely that they’re taking a flyer on him because they can. If it works out, then he can help the team in the majors. If not, then they gave up nothing to see what else he has left in the tank. Has nothing to do with the 40-man roster situation.
I’m going to collect screen shots of those claiming that Bats is a waste of a roster space. You’ll get to reflect on the moment you wrote it when I repost it in July after Alex flips him for ace prospects.
I agree. If he does show that he still has some chops, then a team that is on the bubble for the playoffs, or in need of a bat, would give up a great deal to get him in their lineup. I think this is a very low risk, high ceiling move for the Braves.
What a ridiculous signing. A waste of time and money. $1 here is paying him too much.
It’s a zero-risk minor league contract. If it (somehow) works out, then it’s great for them. If it doesn’t, they haven’t given up much in trying to see what he has left. Not a big deal.
It’s a waste of everyone’s time, money, and effort to sign this washed up player while we are still trying to rebuild and give young guys every opportunity to succeed. Just cause it’s a minor league deal, doesn’t always make it low risk. This was money spent somewhere it could be spent elsewhere. Time, scouting, sales pitches to other younger better players. Better yet, this is playing time for young players that need the time and experience in the minors to make an impact on a major league team. This is a waste.
Also he’s reporting to extended spring training. How is he taking anyone’s spot?
How are you possibly this mad about a signing that guaranteed a player $0? Wtf is wrong with you lol
Then who specifically should we have focused on? This isn’t the offseason, it’s the regular season, and there’s fewer people available who they could get. Besides, if you look at who’s currently available at AAA, it’s not encouraging at all, between Ruiz (who’s basically botched all his attempts to prove himself MLB-ready), Carlos Franco (a career minor leaguer), and Christian Colon (an out-of-options utility man). Plus, they’re taking it a bit slowly with Riley, and they’ve made it clear that when they promote him to AAA, Bautista’s presence will have zero effect on Riley’s playing time if the former is still at AAA. If they had better options at AAA, then you would have a point. As it is, however, there’s no real reason to trash this signing, even if you don’t expect it to really matter.
Literally any other young player that could be playing in his spot. The article even questions this signing greatly. There is not much good in this signing other than MAYBE a power bench hitter. That’s best I can see. He’s done. He will not regain any of that value he had back in the day.
Bravesfan should be the GM, said no one ever! Dude, relax. It’s not like he World is ending. JEEZ
Because BravesFan is one the most moronic posters on this site.
An ironic statement coming from realgone2 hahahaha
General realgone and I are on the same page, soooo
You give actual Braves fans a bad name… Bautista could set a good example in the minors to young players also. Just for this reason alone, the signing is good. Experience like that is not something you can normally buy. Plus, in the small chance that he can actually contribute something of value to the Major League team he would only cost the Braves 1M and could be easily flipped at the trade deadline.
So I’m giving braves fans a bad name because I don’t want a player who gives baseball a bad name on our team? No, I care enough for the braves to actually call out a bad signing when it happens instead of being a homer and acting like everything we do is so fantastic move. Too many braves fans have lost touch and will defend every move as a great move until the are dead. This sir, is not a good move in any fashion. U must come up with fantasy lala bull for it to be a good move
But what if he plays well and the team doesn’t and they trade him for a prospect who eventually helps a winning Braves team down the line, is it a bad deal then?
As many times as you’ve hit those keyboard keys, you’ve yet to offer an alternative suggestion.
Alternative suggestion = don’t sign him.
How did you not pick up on that
No. He has fallen so precipitously that he is not worth anything. If he has some kind of turn around it’s like climbing up the sides of a deep hole. Well you are still in the hole. I don’t expect that much return. If anything this guy is depth. The Braves have almost nothing beyond Camargo except for Riley and they don’t want to put any pressure on him nor bring him up prematurely.
Anthopoulos is hoping Bautista has a decent 2-month run, deal him before the deadline to get a young minor leaguer in-return. He probably also views Bautista as an experienced veteran that can help the younger guys along with Markakis.
Or Jose is done and will be cut. Either way, nothing to lose.
The purpose of a rebuild is to give young guys time to develop in the minors. No point of rushing guys up now, and signing a veteran like Bautista to be a hold-over isn’t a bad idea.
Maybe AA is hoping he’s got a new batch of “vitamins” that won’t be detected on a test
and he gets hot enuff to be traded for a lottery ticket from some desperate team !
I don’t like Bautista, but it is literally a no risk signing. If he sucks in Gwinnett he gets released.
The fact that you think Bautista gives baseball a bad name shows you’re blinded by not liking him. He’s a great teammate and great competitor. But he bat flipped so dinosaurs want him gone, right?
Ummmm….yea, Bravesfan is a moron.
I don’t personally like Bautista…however, we’re surprisingly in second in both the wild card race and in the division. We’ve buried the Phillies and Marlins and split games with the Nats. AA wants to find ways to improve the team with no risk…and this is literally the illustration of that.
Lol at the braves “burying” anyone at this point in the season and bigger lol at thinking that this signing might be enough to get the braves over the hump. Must be nice to be so have glasses that are so rose colored.
I agree. I live near Toronto. Bautista was insanely well liked by teammates and fans here. He whines about strike zone a lot, yes. He bat flipped, yes. So what? These people are the same ones who would whine if we somehow got Harper.
I would never whine if we got Harper. Two totally different players at different points in their career. Braves will never go get him though. We are too busy focused on dumb signings like this
Well they guaranteed him $0 so how is this a waste of money? The amount of clueless people on this site is astounding
Gives fans something extra to go to the ballpark to watch, while providing insurance when/if Ryan Flaherty comes back down to earth and Camargo can be used more of as a super-utility than a primary 3B.
We’ve gotten little production from the clean-up spot, so if Bautista starts hitting in that bandbox, someone could give us something for him at the deadline — not much, but definitely more than the minor-league money and roster spot he’ll be taking up. All the while, Riley continues to go from AA to AAA (he’s started hot at AA already…).
Good! Would rather see Bautista in the majors for the Braves than Joe P0opler.
Seems to be a move to add some veteran leadership to this young core. Not too shabby
He would get the biggest standing ovation when the Braves visit Toronto June 19-20.
Also, he bat flipped his HR in an 8-3 game last year and cleared the benches vs the Braves. Surprising signing.
Now Joey Bats can show the Braves the art of the bat flip.
if he’s on the 25 man roster by then
If you have a problem with what Joeybats did in that Braves game I bet you are annoyed at 200 other players in MLB. I just went and rewatched it. It was practically nothing, and you could see he apologized to the catcher anyway after the play. The benches emptied because they thought there might be a fight when the two started talking, but Bautista and the catcher had already worked it out. Stuff like that is not going to stop them from signing the guy.
Anthopoulos was the Jays GM. No surprise at all.
The Braves are desperate for power. The Braves continuously remove Tucker mid game because Bourjos and Adams have more power than Tucker.
No, they remove him mid-game because they try to focus more on defense late in games, and both Adams and Bourjos have much better defense than Tucker. It’s that simple.
You don’t say!
hahah do u really think that’s why? haha
too many haha’s I’ll downvote my own comment
you do know that Tucker has 3 HRs
What has he done in his last 20 plate appearances since we are talking small sample sizes…
There are very, very few players that have less power than Bourjos.
Yeah, I don’t think my mom will be excited about this one.
This is reminiscent of the Rockies signing Ryan Howard to a minors deal last year. Howard had a decent season at AAA but was never called up to the majors. Ultimately the move resulted in a few more tickets being sold in Albuquerque, but that was about it. If Bautista doesn’t tear it up in the minors he won’t see the light of day in ATL.
By the way, what’s the status of Rafael Palmiero’s comeback?
I don’t think he got any contract offers if I remember correctly.
…..waiting on results of the drug test…..
He wasn’t retired so I’m pretty sure he was still subjected to those.
it is obvious that Freddie needs some pritection in the lineup. idk if bautista is the answer, but i also am not sure acuna will provide the protection he needs coming up as a rookie. if this works, great, if it doesn’t, no harm done.
Why don’t the Braves suit up Hank Aaron?
Their lineup is a joke. Who’s the favorite pitcher for the Braves to pick in the first round in June?
Well this joke of a lineup is putting up decent numbers and playing some good baseball. I don’t think it can maintain, but can’t call the lineup a joke when they are producing.
Are you even a Braves fan or are you just some dumb ass troll?
CaseysPartner is definitely a troll. he trashes the braves all the time.
and he’s a Phillies fan
Braves have 5th highest wOBA and wRC+, and 7th most runs in baseball. It’s not THAT bad….
2nd most runs, best OBP, and best OPS in the National League. Can’t count the American league since they have an extra bat in the line up.
I’ve seen some really stupid comments in this thread.
Me too. Too many people think this is a good signing. Just isn’t.
Not good..not bad….a signing of little risk and big reward. Good luck Joey.
I guess better late than never for Jose Bautista although he might have been better served in the American League at this late stage of his career.
Melky Cabrera is still out there. Perhaps the White Sox ought to consider bringing back their former switch-hitter and fan favorite to help spark a deadfull offense and bring some of his clubhouse enthusiasm back to the South Side. He could provide a temporary boost to the top of the batting order in the DH role while providing more run scoring and RBI opportunities for cool hitting Yoan Moncada, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu.
Cabrera is the type of hitter who would probably only need a week or two before being ready to tee off on MLB pitching, especially if the White Sox limited him to the DH role. The White Sox have enough short term options in LF with lefty hitting Nicky Delmonico on the roster and righty Ryan Cordell at AAA. They also have top prospect Eloy Jimenez waiting in the wings once he recovers from his pectoral strain ang gets more PA’s at AA and AAA before his potential arrival on the South Side late this summer. The “Melk Man” just might hit enough to provide the White Sox with another flip candidate later this summer just as he did last season.
The White Sox will want to continue getting current DH Matt Davidson more AB’s but really ought to play him at 3B more to see if he can actually be a more legitimate part of their core going forward. Current third baseman Yolmer Sanchez is nobody’s idea of a prototypical player at the hot corner and would be better served as a utility infielder on a contending MLB team.
Isn’t this about Joey Bats? Unless this is about the Chicago Braves I’m not sure where this is going LOL
Does signing Bautista suggest that Braves plan to keep Acuna in AAA until September?
read the article.
Doesn’t say much about Acuna, specifically that he’s hitting. 175 at AAA.
read what position they plan on putting him and make a logical conclusion
Logical, really, you expect people to use logic? lol
Though his ba has dropped, he still has a ton of power, for 1 mil dollars in this day and age on a mlb roster? That’s a steal. I wouldn’t want him, but it’s a steal nonetheless
It’s more of a risk-free lottery ticket than a steal. He was dreadful last season.
Angry downvoters paradise around these parts.
Was hoping for the Rays to sign him but they are entering the Brandon Snyder era and besides $1 mil? Whoa….too much for them…obviously.
Best of all he is a perfect fit…. cheap and a 50 – 50 gamble. Would personally rather see bullpen help.
Ron Washington does wonders with INF, should be interesting
Not sure what all the complaining is about, low risk signing. I say bring him up ASAP and plug him in behind Freddie, might actually give Freddie a few more pitches to hit. Bautista worth the signing for that reason alone
Not sure what all the complaining is about, low risk signing. I say bring him up ASAP and plug him in behind Freddie, might actually give Freddie more pitches to hit. Bautista worth the signing for that reason alone
What does Bautista playing 3B have to do with Acuna???
Um, because you would have reasonably expected Bautista would play OF/DH and the 3B thing is a surprise. If he actually plays 3B, he doesn’t affect Acuña’s potential at-bats.
Dare to dream Braves, keep reaching for that rainbow!
If nothing else, this will be a great locker room presence for the young guys in the minors or on the Braves if he eventually gets moved up. Might as well learn from one of the best sluggers of this generation
Almost every article on social media the fans are losing it mad about this move. Trade rumors is the only site I see where really dumb people make up any excuse to pretend this is a good deal
There’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal. Anyone who thinks it’s a bad deal doesn’t understand baseball
If nothing else, it could draw some fans to the minor league team.
…or maybe he’ll play first base instead.
Unfortunately that is now a VERY real possibility.
I hated pierzynski from a distance and loved him as a brave. Hope the same thing happens with joey.
If he can play an average 3B, back up 1B and possibly platoon with Markakis he will be a solid pickup. Maybe we can dump Bourjos.
He needs to call it quits.