The latest has him and the Blue Jays in “active” contract talks.
As of last week the Blue Jays had not made Bautista a formal contract offer, and it’s unclear if that is still the case. The Blue Jays and Bautista are talking and that’s most important.
All things considered, Bautista re-signing with the Blue Jays is best for both parties. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, would retain his power bat and improve a weak outfield unit that currently includes Kevin Pillar, Melvin Upton, and Ezequiel Carrera.
Will Jose Bautista end up back with the Blue Jays? USATSI
If a deal gets done — and just to be clear, a reunion between Bautista and the Blue Jays is not imminent as far as we know — Toronto’s lineup could look something like this:
2B Devon Travis
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Kendrys Morales
SS Troy Tulowitzki
C Russell Martin
1B Justin Smoak/Steve Pearce
LF Melvin Upton/Ezequiel Carrera
CF Kevin Pillar
That lineup is very right-handed heavy — Morales and Smoak are switch-hitters, and Carrera is a lefty, otherwise it’s all righties — but guys like Donaldson and Bautista and Tulowitzki are productive against all types of pitching, so it shouldn’t be a huge problem.
The Blue Jays won’t have to surrender a first-round pick to re-sign Bautista, which is part of the reason why this makes sense.