Jays have not approached Bautista about long-term contract

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The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo does a bang-up job during hot stove season and he has an article today about 2010’s biggest breakout star, Jose Bautista.

Bautista, 30, posted a stellar 995 OPS and 124 RBI this past season while leading all major leaguers with 54 home runs. He’s in line for a big payday this winter via salary arbitration, so it would seem that the Jays might have interest in discussing a long-term contract with the slugger. But, as of now, no such negotiations have taken place.

“Right now, there are no talks about a multiyear contract, but I suppose we may hear something about that in December,” he told Cafardo. “We have a great team and if our players and pitching can take the next step, we’re going to be a team that can go for the AL East title.”

Why no talks?  Because the Blue Jays probably have the same concerns that the rest of us have.  Bautista never hit more than 16 home runs in a season before this year and batted just .235/.349/.408 in 2009.  It’s not all that rare for players to suddenly blossom in their late 20s and early 30s (Ryan Ludwick comes to mind), but Bautista has all the leverage right now because of his impressive 2010 numbers and it’s fair that the Jays have their doubts about his ability to post consistent MVP-like stats.