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.