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Article: Pursuing Jose Bautista Seems Unconventional

jose bautista brian dozier derek falvey dexter fowler edwin encarnacion
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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:31 PM

While the Hot Stove has cooled down on any Brian Dozier rumblings, news out of the Twin Cities has the Twins interested in adding other depth to their roster. MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger is reporting the Twins have touched base with multiple agents for position players and this includes former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.

A conflicting report from the Star Tribune's LaVelle E. Neal III says the speculation surrounding Bautista needs to cool down. He's "hearing the Twins aren't interested in him."

So which report is correct and does signing a free agent slugger fit with the Twins' current direction?For a rebuilding organization, it might seem like a bold strategy to add a veteran player. Last winter, reports had Bautista seeking a contract extension of over five years and $150 million. The 36-year old made multiple DL stints this year as he battled toe and knee issues. He played in 116 games but he saw a decline in his power and his defensive skills continue to be an issue.

This was the third time in the last five seasons where Bautista failed to play over 118 games. Back in 2011, he led all of baseball in slugging percentage (.608) and OPS (1.056). However, those totals have dropped in recent years as he batted .234/.366/.452 in 2016.

It seems more likely for Bautista to stay with an AL squad where he can spend some of his time as a designated hitter. Minnesota already has the likes of Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas and Byung-Ho Park potentially getting at-bats at DH. Adding Bautista to this mix could make this a little crowded.

Minnesota's current outfield projects to include Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler. All of these players are young and there's no telling what kind of performance the team will coax from their young core. Bautista could provide some insurance in the corner outfield and a veteran voice in the locker room.

KSTP's Chris Long interviewed Derek Falvey about the possibility of adding Bautista to a rebuilding organization. "We'll continue to monitor all potential avenues for players, whether it's free agents or trades," he said. "I wouldn't shut the door on any player out there right now, even if it was slightly unconventional."

In recent years, players like Nelson Cruz and Dexter Fowler have been open to unconventional deals. Both of them signed one-year contracts to increase their value before becoming a free agent again. It sounds like Bautista would be open to this idea but he'd want the one-year deal to be worth more than the $17.2 million qualifying offer he turned down.

Since he rejected Toronto's qualifying offer, Bautista also comes tied to a loss of a draft pick. Minnesota's first overall pick is protected but the Twins would be forced to surrender their next highest pick. That pick would be the fifth pick of the competitive balance round between the first and second round. Under the old regime, Minnesota was willing to do this when signing Ervin Santana.

Conventional wisdom would have to think Bautista is searching for a big payday. After an unconventional path to the big leagues, it took him until late into his 20's and early 30's to establish himself as a consistent MLB regular. As an aging slugger, this could be one of his last opportunities to sign a multi-year free agent contract.

For Twins fans, Bautista has been a nemesis since Target Field opened. He's hit .349/.429/.895 with 14 home runs and five doubles in 21 games. His 1.324 OPS at Target Field is his highest mark at any ballpark where he's played more than five games.

It doesn't seem like Bautista would be a perfect fit in Minnesota, even on a one-year deal. With a draft pick tied to him and Bautista continuing to age, it would certainly seem unconventional considering the Twins current state of affairs.

What are your thoughts on a potential Bautista signing? Do the Twins need more veteran players? Is he worth giving up a draft pick? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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#2 jimmer

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:45 PM

Lots of thoughts on the possibility on this thread

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-jose-bautista/

 

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#3 darin617

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:04 PM

Kendrys Morales Part 2. He will perform after he leaves. Don't waste the time or money for him.

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#4 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:04 PM

Especially if the Twins peruse Bautista instead of pursuing him.


#5 Willihammer

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:19 PM

He's still a very patient hitter. Hi BB, low -k guy. The big red flag from last year is he got beat on a lot of fastballs, which he usually crushes. Not a great sign for someone his age, otoh Torii Hunter experienced the same thing, at the same age, but was able to recover in his late 30s for a few seasons. Perhaps he is a small adjustment away from getting back to his old self against fastballs.

Edited by Willihammer, 11 January 2017 - 10:19 PM.

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Well, there's that.

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#6 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:30 PM

I don't think I'd be a fan of signing him even if it didn't cost a draft pick. The draft pick (#35 or so) is not likely to ever make the MLB squad, but I still wouldn't give it up. 

This team is due to strike it rich in the draft some year. I'm hoping it's this year.

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet just because it has a name or a photo you recognize.

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#7 jimmer

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:42 PM

Ken Griffey Jr is the only first overall draft pick ever elected to the HOF (so the highest pick ever). Ironically, Piazza, the guy Griffey went into the HOF with, is the only HOFer drafted in the last round of the MLB draft (ahead of only 5 players).

 

So the 2016 election produced the highest-drafted and lowest-drafted Hall of Famer.

 

Quality MLBers come in all rounds of the draft.

Edited by jimmer, 11 January 2017 - 10:49 PM.

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#8 jokin

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:03 AM

Jim Thome, Part Deux?

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#9 ShouldaCouldaWoulda

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:48 AM

If it was simply to promise to flip him to a contender at the break, I'd be down with it. One way to get younger and better is to sign FA's you intend to flip at the deadline. This doesn't only work with SP, and recently RP. 

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#10 KirbyDome89

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:26 AM

Paying $18+ million for a one year deal and giving up what is essentially a late 1st round pick isn't appealing. Add to that the fact Bautista is a 36 year old who is coming off his worst season since 08', and at this point is only a DH, which is already an overcrowded position. It makes no sense.... 

 

His numbers at Target Field are cartoonish but if he is wearing a Twins uniform that means he no longer has the luxury of hitting against one of, if not the worst, pitching staffs in baseball every time he steps into the box there. 

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#11 HitInAPinch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 05:22 AM

SOP.Twins management is kicking the tires on Bautista and probably many other available players.

Having said that, I'd probably take a shot with Bautista.Obviously, he wants to rebuild his reputation.

 

Seriously:Does the sum-total of Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas and Byung-Ho Park come close to equaling Jose Bautista?? 

It's not my fault !


#12 Platoon

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:08 AM

Ugh! I don't like the draft pick or the money expended. IMHO, the Twins don't need to add specific players to win this year, they need to add specific players to balance and construct an ongoing roster. If Bautista was going to be around for some years, and if they then could jettison Park and Vargas, mmmmm? But he won't be. This teams future rises or falls on their current youth and their approach to SS and SP. everything else is fluff!
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#13 Bombo_9

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:24 AM

It seems a little crazy, but a 1-year deal for 18M could work out for everyone. If the Twins don't spend the money, it's not like they will roll it into next year's budget, so I'm OK with them spending the cash. The key will be flipping him at the deadline. Even if he's mediocre, they should be able to get a prospect on par with the pick they would forfeit. If he's good, they could get much more value than the 35th pick. From Bautista's perspective, if he's traded during the season, he can't be given a qualifying offer next offseason. If he signs a one-year deal with a competitive team, they might keep him all year and give him a QO again.

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#14 USAFChief

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:48 AM

Do it.

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I am not the paranoid you're looking for.


#15 drjim

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 07:28 AM

Do it.


Agreed. But I'd want a two year deal.
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Papers...business papers.

#16 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:07 AM

I get the feeling people that want this think "he hits so well at Target Field!  This will be great!"

 

And fail to remember who he was hitting against.  It ain't the ballpark that he likes folks.....

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#17 spycake

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:09 AM

I suspect Bautista will have to settle for less than his $17.2 mil asking price, which changes the calculation.  He might also be ultimately more willing to settle for less than past qualifying offer holdouts, because under the new CBA he can't be subject to another qualifying offer next winter (although that also removes another avenue of recouping the value of the lost pick).

 

I don't necessarily endorse it myself, but I'm willing to give Falvey and company the freedom to make their own determination.  If they really think a Bautista bounceback is likely, are pessimistic about Vargas/Park/Mauer (or even Grossman/Rosario), and can still execute their desired draft strategy, they should be able to do it.


#18 spycake

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:17 AM

As for July trade prospects -- I don't think Bautista would fetch a top prospect, but he could fetch some interesting packages.  Even some modest non-prospect returns, like a buy-low SP candidate and former top prospect (i.e. Nolasco and Meyer) could be interesting to the Twins under the right circumstances.

 

Might also give us more ammunition to package with Ervin Santana midseason too -- I'm thinking something like the A's-Dodgers trade last July, where they packaged Hill and Reddick together.  Could improve the returns, and/or just make us a better trade partner than a team with only a SP to offer.


#19 B Good

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:35 AM

Why is no one talking about the fact that he's an absolute jackwagon?  The clubhouse needs leaders, not cancers.  His personality, combined with his age, the cost (salary and draft pick), and the fact that he's coming off a poor season make it a hard pass for me.  I read this article awhile back which highlights the fact that he's not a popular dude...with anyone.  

 

http://www.espn.com/...s-jose-bautista

 

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#20 spycake

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:39 AM

The "bad clubhouse" stuff around Bautista is all pretty vague, so it's hard to draw many conclusions from it.




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