Jose Bautista reportedly wants five years and $150 million

Associated Press
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UPDATE: Bautista is denying the report of his demand for $150 million, calling it “false.” Could this be something someone with the Jays leaked in order to lay the groundwork for them throwing up their hands and saying “hey, we couldn’t sign him!” Or is Bautista being cagey himself? As usual, we probably won’t know until the negotiations, or lack thereof, run their course.

12:45 PM: Jose Bautista is entering the final year of his five-year, $65 million contract. It has proven to be a bargain and, as we learned yesterday, Bautista is not prepared to give the Blue Jays a hometown discount on his next deal.

There hasn’t been a proper negotiation between Bautista and the Jays, but it has been reported that Bautista told the Jays what it would take to get him to sign an extension right now. Today Rick Westhead of TSN.ca reports that Bautista is asking for a five-year extension worth around $30 million per season.

That’s $150 million for a guy for his age 36-40 seasons. Which is . . . steep. Yes, Bautista has been great for several years now, posting a .945 OPS with an average of 38 homers per season since 2010, but that kind of financial commitment to a player Bautista’s age seems like a big, big ask.

Depending on how the Jays do this year, this could be a running storyline all season long.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.