Bill Baer

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Report: Blue Jays and Jose Bautista’s representatives engaged in active contract discussions

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Blue Jays and the representatives of free agent outfielder Jose Bautista are currently engaged in active contract discussions.

This comes as no surprise as Bautista’s market has been slow to develop. He rejected the Blue Jays’ $17.2 million qualifying offer. The draft pick compensation attached to him, combined with his age and a relatively down year this past season are all contributing to Bautista’s prolonged free agency. The Blue Jays, of course, would not have to relinquish a draft pick to bring Bautista back.

Bautista, 36, hit .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI in 517 plate appearances in 2016.

The Blue Jays lost slugger Edwin Encarnacion to free agency (Indians) so bringing Bautista back would help mitigate what would otherwise be a significant loss of offense.

The Braves’ 1995 starting rotation was referenced in Run the Jewels 3

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 02: Former Atlanta Braves players Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux are introduced as members of the All Turner Field Team prior to the game at Turner Field on October 2, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
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Killer Mike and El-P, better known as Run the Jewels, digitally released their third self-titled album on Christmas. It was a few weeks ahead of their scheduled release date and they made it available for free.

The sixth track on Run the Jewels 3, titled “Stay Gold,” made a reference to John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux, the three mainstays in the Braves’ super-rotation from the 1990’s. The trio was crucial to the Braves winning the World Series in 1995. All three have since been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Towards the end of the fourth verse of the song, Killer Mike raps, “You should know we pitch these rhymes / Like Smoltz, like Glavine, like Maddux in ninety-five.”

Killer Mike is from Atlanta and grew up a Braves fan. He has in the past commented about the Braves’ decision to move to Cobb County.

Mike Trout bought every Eagles player a pair of Nikes

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on from the on deck circle during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 28, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Angels outfielder and reigning AL MVP Mike Trout grew up in southern New Jersey. As such, he grew up a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and is still a huge fan. In fact, he’s become friends with some of the players, including quarterback Carson Wentz and tight end Zach Ertz.

As a Christmas gift, Trout bought every Nikes-wearing Eagles player a fresh pair of shoes, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Berman notes how Trout became friends with Ertz and Wentz. Trout’s now-fiancee is a fan of Ertz and received a signed No. 86 jersey from him. They were in Arizona during the spring. The two athletes and their significant others went to dinner. Trout and Wentz met through Ertz. Trout and Wentz went hunting over the past weekend (ducks and geese, specifically, per Eliot Shorr-Parks).