Jose Bautista feels pretty confident with his worth, and has made it very clear that any deal is of a take it or leave it variety. The 35 year old outfielder is entering the final year of a contract which he as very clearly and drastically outperformed and has made it very clear that there will be no home town discount this go around.
”I don’t think there should be any negotiations. I think I’ve proved myself, and the question has been asked – what will it take – and I’ve given them an answer,” Bautista said. ”I’m not going to sit here and try to bargain for a couple dollars.”
”I’m not trying to sound like it was adamant and I put down the law and I drew lines in the sand,” Bautista said. ”They asked me a question and I gave them an answer.”
No specifics were mentioned, but you can believe that Bautista is looking to get paid at the top class of slugging outfielders. Bautista seems to have a pretty good handle on whom he is dealing with. Bautista’s agent has stated that his client will cease negotiations once the season begins.
”In a publicly traded company, everybody can track their performance fairly easy. It’s not a secret. It’s out in the public,” Bautista said. ”Stock prices are monitored very closely by the whole financial world, and I think there is a direct correlation with the success of their earnings-per-share after we start experiencing success. Are they going to put it out in the media and say because of the Jays, we made all this money? No. But everybody can read between the lines.”
Bautista made $64 million over the past five years, and the Blue Jays exercised his $14 million option for 2016. He says he feels he’s outperformed that contract, and he dismissed the idea of a so-called hometown discount.
”That doesn’t exist. Not in my world,” Bautista said. ”In my eyes, I’ve given this organization a five-year hometown discount already.”
Last season Bautista finished 8th in the MVP vote, famously flipped his bat, and along the way hit 40 home runs, and slashed .250/.377/.536/.913. He also has not paid for a meal since the playoffs.
It appears the Blue Jays will have a difficult decision ahead of them. Do they spend a large amount of money gambling that an aging slugging outfielder will hold back father time, or do they risk watching him succeed somewhere else?
ScoutsUpdate: Reports surfaced that Joey Bats is asking for $150 million over 5 years, an absolutely insane amount for a player of his age. Bautista reportedly is denying those rumors. Either way, this could get very interesting.
ScoutsUpdate2: It would appear now that the denial of the 5/150m deal is because it was too low.
What that figure raised eyebrows around the baseball world, it may actually have been too modest, as both the Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman have reported that Bautista’s contract demand was actually higher. Griffin suggested that the number could be higher if Bautista’s $14MM salary for the coming season was included as well, though Heyman says that Bautista is looking for both more years and more money. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal puts the dollar figure at less than $180MM, however, as the average annual value of a six-year deal wouldn’t have cracked the $30MM threshold.
Thanks to silversun60 for the heads up!