Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista was supposed to be one of the big names on the free agent market, since hitters of his caliber don’t become free agents all that often. But his market turned out to be far more depressed than anyone expected, which lead to speculation that not only would he take a short-term deal, he might also be amenable to returning to Toronto, where he became a star.

And that, it turns out, is exactly what happened:

Jon Heyman FanRag Sports reports that the contract is worth $18 million, but could rise to $60 million over three seasons thanks to a mutual option for 2018 and a vesting option for 2019.

You’ll note that Bautista’s qualifying offer in November was worth $17.2 million, but Joey Bats rejected it. After setting the world on fire from 2010 to 2015 by averaging 38 homers and 97 RBIs over that span, nagging injuries curtailed his 2016 season, in which he only hit 22 homers and had 69 RBIs. Bautista has been with the Blue Jays for eight seasons and has hit 249 homers since 2010, the most in baseball during that span.

The 36-year old slugger will hope to recapture some of his earlier magic with the Jays and hope that either better offers come if options aren’t picked up or that the Jays are willing to pick up his options as his career seemingly winds down.

[ESPN]

About Matt Lichtenstadter

Recent Maryland graduate. I've written for many sites including World Soccer Talk, GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Testudo Times, Yahoo's Puck Daddy Blog and more. Houndstooth is still cool, at least to me. Follow me @MattsMusings1 on Twitter, e-mail me about life and potential jobs at matthewaaron9 at Yahoo dot com.