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.