Update 2 – Jose Bautista Is Not Interested In Negotiations

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!

22 thoughts on “Update 2 – Jose Bautista Is Not Interested In Negotiations

  1. On the surface it seems like it might be a pretty simple value proposition for next year. What is a 36 year-old primarily slugger with arm problems worth? You would think a couple of years (even at a high salary) might buy most guys off. I have the feeling it won’t work here.

    As a pure value play it seems kind of easy. Two years with an option on a third. But then I’m not sure how much value comes into it. These teams chase players with too much money all the time, carry it on the books, and are still making money (Arte Moreno, are your ears burning?) But at some point you have to decide on what you are giving up, and to me their pitching staff looks pretty dicey.

    Offer him two at a high AAV with an option for three. If he wants to walk, slap the QO on him. Problem solved.

    See, it’s easy when it’s not my money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Compared to the money that some outfielders are making for much less in the way of offensive contribution, he has been vastly underpaid for the past 6 years. Following his breakout 2010 season, with its 54 home runs, he signed for 6/78, or 13M AAV, which, for the production he has provided, is a steal. Compare that to the 21M+ that Matt Kemp is making, or Matt Holliday’s 17M, or Josh Hamilton’s 22M+, or even the AAV of 25M that Cespedes is making. Hell, Carlos Beltran is making 15M a year.

    Over the past 6 seasons he has put up an AVERAGE of 38 HR, 97 RBI and 96 walks, with a .390 OBP, .945 OPS and a BB/K ratio of 1.00. Or, if advanced stats are your thing, how about 32.5 fWAR, 156 wRC+, and a .403 wOBA.

    Sure, he’s 35, and a 5-year deal is out of the question, but I’d offer him 3/75 and call it back pay.


    1. It’s been pretty definitive historically that the inflated pay in later years is “payback” for the good times. (Jeff Bagwell in Houston comes to mind.) With the young business types taking over all the key jobs, I wonder if the same paradigm will continue.

      Sure it will in organizations like LAA, that struggle to find their butts with both hands, but I wonder about the more professionally run groups.

      But I see an offer something like your 3/75 as being in the right direction.


      1. Do you think that the younger players will start to negotiate incentivized contracts when the teams stop with the “payback” type contracts? I think I would.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good point! Also, if the next bargaining agreement cuts out the the seven years indentured servants clause and fight for more money than currently offered, maybe, just maybe we wouldn’t have to be getting 31 to 33 year old free agents that you know will be a bust for 9 year 300 million contracts. I realize that I make little sense most of the time, but if they just listen to me once they would be better off, the truth is that they I got mine fuck everyone else.


        2. It would change the entire dynamic of how the baseball economics work, Slappy, But I think it’s a change that has to be made. By the time these guys have done their indentured servitude of six/seven years, of course they are angry and waiting to cash in.

          I mentioned last week that Carlos Correa got a big shoe deal from Adidas. He is talking about how it will “tide him over” until free agency. Pay him closer to what he is worth between now and then, and maybe he is not so hard to hold onto then.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. @stex- exactly! Contra to most US unions, sports unions screw the up and coming. They are all “brothers” but once they get what they want they have no problems cutting out the next guy who isn’t making to the big leagues because they just sell them out to keep their jobs. If all the trade unions did the same, your toilet wouldn’t flush, your lights wouldn’t work, etc. They are making it so we may never see another late bloomer like Bautista again because they can’t afford to keep learning their craft with a family to feed. Why pay union dues if the people who you are paying them to can’t wait to sell you out? It really sucks that we are busting unions that takes care of educating our children, encourage people to work in local government, provides blue collar jobs etc.


  3. I really hope he brought a bat to that meeting. I can just imagine him sitting there listening to the front office guys when they popped the question:

    “What will it take Joey Bats!?”

    And Jose slowly rising from his seat, holding his bat level, naming his price… and then flipping the bat across the office and walking out the door.


  4. Not wanting to throw water on a bunch of righteous outrage here, but in everything I have read from the links above… and from Griffin, Heyman and Rosenthal, there is nothing of substance or fact and a whole crapload of speculation.

    From Griffin’s piece: “a club source had quietly suggested that the real number was even higher. But that may, in fact, perhaps be if the extension begins in 2017. Then the total dollar value would be $164 million for the next six seasons.
    “That is fictitious,” Bautista said late in the day when asked about the original figures in the leaked demand. However he would not say whether the real number was higher of lower than $150 million, insisting, “I do not want to negotiate through you guys.””

    A “club source”… um hmm… aka what reporters say when they want to throw something at the wall to see if it sticks but don’t want to admit that’s what they are doing.

    Here is Heyman’s twitter comment: “Bautista reported ask of $150M, 5 yrs is indeed not exactly accurate, as Joey Bats said. At least years and total $ r MORE.”

    That’s it, that’s all… no proof, no “club source”, just a pronouncement that it is higher than initially reported.

    Rosenthal’s tweet: “Hearing same as @jonheyman: Bautista asked #BlueJays for more than 5 yrs and more than $150M. But average annual value was below $30M per.”

    Hearing from where, Ken?

    I’m not saying he didn’t ask for more years/money, but if you are hearing otherwise, tell us where you are hearing it. Remember, TSN’s Rick Westhead’s “sources” are the ones who gave him the 5 years/150M number. Griffin’s “sources” are now telling him it is higher… but only after Bautista denied the first numbers.

    So what we have, at this point, are two separate “sources” giving two different stories… and no way to tell which, if either is true. What I really see is a bunch of “reporters” trying to create the news rather than wait and report on it.


    1. We never have any proof of these sort of things, that’s part of the deal with rumors and speculation. It’s nothing new. I will say that Ken Rosenthal tends to be accurate more times than not, but any sort of news like this is to be taken with a grain of salt unless met with a flat rejection or approval from the player or agent, or management. But that never happens. In the end, it’s just a story of interest, and matters not until someone signs on the dotted line. I stopped getting too worked up over these sort of things, and just let them be fun and interesting.


  5. So, we can all look at this and say there’s no way that Joey Bats is worth what he’s asking for. And that’s fine. But he’s probably looking in at how pathetic next year’s free agent class is, the premium paid for elite sluggers, the amount of money available, and wondering why he should sell out for anything less than full sticker price when it only takes one team to get desperate next winter. As long as he’s being professional about it, there’s nothing wrong with setting an extremely high number to buy out his FA and then going to market if it’s not met.


    1. I think it’s completely feasible he is asking for this amount of money and for a lot of different reasons, some of them very valid. Players are getting paid in record numbers and the TV contracts are in. Plus the team, and Bautista is getting more press and love than ever before. Not paying for a meal in months has to do a lot to help boost the self confidence and ego, and I mean that not in a negative light. He is not a stupid man, and he is well aware how the popularity is affecting the bottom line, something he wants a piece of. Of course he is not the sole reason for that bottom line. Additionally, he was vastly underpaid for the past several years, and he may be looking for a little retribution. However, the issue with Bautista is not his performance, but rather his age. I think a lot of teams will find it rather difficult to guarantee such a large amount of money over such a long period of time to a player very close to 40. It was insane when Chris Davis was asking for 200 million and he was 29 at the time. To be 37 and asking for the same is even worse.


        1. He just turned 35 on October 19, 2015. So he’s 35 and 4 months right now.

          Not trying to be snarky but, in this information age, how hard is it to go to his B-Ref page and look at his birth date?


        2. I made a slight mistake and was off by a few months because I was looking up several people at once. Let it the fuck go already. My point remains. It’s a on absurd amount of money for a guy that age. So he will be 36.4 instead of 37. Thanks for the fucking clarification.


  6. I think he’s just pulling the same stunt as the North Vietnamese, who haggled for weeks over the shape of the conference table during the runup to the Paris conference. I say let him have his rhombus. Why is Shapiro so anally fixated on a parallelogram?


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