Entering the final year of his contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, Jose Bautista is expecting an extension offer to come soon, but doesn’t plan on negotiating the price. He has a number, he told the Blue Jays that number, and isn’t going to move from it.
Bautista is 35. He’s coming off a season with 40 home runs and 114 RBIs. He led the league in walks (110), finishing with .536 slugging and a .913 OPS, making the All-Star game for a sixth time in a row. He has 227 home runs over the last six seasons, more than anyone in major league baseball. His slugging (.555) and OPS (.945) over that time is second only to Miguel Cabrera. He also won three silver slugger awards (2010, 2011, 2014).
The way Bautista sees it, he has already given the Blue Jays a hometown discount with the current deal he’s about to finish. He signed a five-year, $65 million extension with the team in 2011 and the Blue Jays exercised the $14 million team option for 2016 last November. Bautista has said he has no problem with the deal he signed at the time, but the fact is, according to him at least, is that his production has surpassed the value of his contract, so he doesn’t see any need to give the Blue Jays any discount.
Bautista isn’t the only extension the Blue Jays have to worry about, with another big hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, entering the final year of his deal as well. Encarnacion has 151 home runs over the last four seasons and is two years younger than Bautista. He makes $10 million in 2016, the final one on his current deal. It won’t be surprising if the Blue Jays eventually pick one of the two to extend, while the other gets “thrown” into free agency at the end of the season, or maybe traded if this season doesn’t go as well as expected.