Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista’s future up in the air

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Jose Bautista
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Jose Bautista /

The Toronto Blue Jays have apparently received some interest regarding Jose Bautista, but how realistic is it to expect him to be moved by July 31?

I think we can all agree it was a miserable weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays, after they were swept in their three-game series against the Cleveland Indians. As of Monday morning, they now stand 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot.

The Blue Jays returned from the All-Star Break talking a good game, convinced they could still make a run at a playoff spot. However, a record of 3-7 only provides more ammunition for those who disagreed.

As a result, it’s looking more and more like Toronto will be sellers, with the non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching. So, who is most likely to be moved between now and July 31?

According to Jerry Crasnick, one player who is receiving interest is Jose Bautista. The contributor writes that the Blue Jays have apparently gotten some feelers regarding the six-time All-Star.

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The question is, how realistic is it to expect Bautista to leave Toronto? There are a couple of major factors to consider.

The first is the 36-year-old’s market value. He has endured a tough season, which includes looking particularly unproductive during these last two months.

As such, while Bautista’s low market value will be attractive to other teams, this could be what stops the Blue Jays letting him go. By the same token though, it’s worth noting they are likely to decline their half of the 2018 $17 million mutual option.

However, even if the Jays do decide to move the three-time Silver Slugger, what about the player himself? As most fans are already aware, he has 10-and-5 rights, which gives him full no-trade protection.

Essentially, Bautista will decide if he is moved or not. And while he would arguably prefer to remain in Toronto, he may consider agreeing a trade to a contender, with time running out for him to win that elusive World Series ring.

In this respect, one contender you can theoretically cross off the list, is the Boston Red Sox. As per a report from ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the Red Sox have not considered a move for the 2000 20th round draft pick.

As far as Bautista himself is concerned, he’s not prepared to comment on his future, at least publically. Speaking to Sportsnet and other members of the media on Sunday, he said:

"“I’m not willing to entertain that question right now. I don’t want to speculate on speculation, so I’ll deal with it when the time comes, if it does come.”"

Overall, our take is that Bautista won’t be moved between now and July 31. Regardless though, it’s looking more and more likely this will be his last season in a Blue Jays uniform.

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Now it’s your turn – how realistic is it to expect Bautista to be moved before the non-waiver trade deadline? Further, whether he does leave or not, should we assume this is his last season in Toronto? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.