Could we see Jose Bautista join the New York Mets?
Bautista spent the offseason hoping someone would give him another shot at playing MLB baseball. The Atlanta Braves did with the strange hope that he could play third base. The experiment was short-lived lasting only 12 games. Bautista slashed just .143/.250/.343 in his 40 plate appearances for Atlanta prior to his recent release.
Certainly an intriguing name on the free agent market, I’m not so sure Bautista is a fit for the Mets. His defensive limitation do go beyond what Adrian Gonzalez can do, but not by much. At this stage, he’s a first baseman who can at least masquerade as a right fielder. His strong arm gets him by when beyond the infield dirt.
It’s not Joey Bats’ glove the Mets need to worry about. It’s his bat. Bautista hit only .203/.308/.366 last year with the Toronto Blue Jays. This wasn’t over a short sample size either. Bautista played in 157 games for the Blue Jays, receiving 686 opportunities to show MLB general managers he still had something left in the tank.
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While not completely empty, it’s quite clear Bautista is nearing the end.
I understand why the Mets would want to look at Bautista. He’s an experienced hitter who can at the very least hit a clutch home run. My guess is that if they were to sign him it’s for a limited time.
The Mets are dealing with some significant injuries at the moment. Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes are both on the disabled list with no set timetable for a return. Losing both of them have created a huge hole in the lineup. They are relying on Jay Bruce as the one true power hitter while hoping Asdrubal Cabrera continues to have a career-year.
In the long-term, there’s not much room for Bautista. This roster needs more versatile players on their bench to make up for the shortcomings of others. While Bautista adds a nice element they’re lacking at the moment, he doesn’t bring much else to the table other than power.
For Bautista’s sake, I do hope he finds a home somewhere. An American League team seems much more fitting considering the availability of a DH.
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As for the Mets, here’s hoping they don’t do anything drastic.