The Baltimore Orioles have been steadfast in their denials of Jose Bautista thus far this off season. Whatever the reason is – the fans, clubhouse, coaches, or something else, the O’s just don’t want him. His agent seems intent on Bautista wanting a long-term deal, whereas it seems franchises aren’t so keen on the idea.
However I do want to re-visit this idea for the purposes of this column. Are the Orioles doing themselves a disservice? Bautista’s camp has recently come out and casually indicated that they might be ameanable to a shorter deal. So…should the Orioles consider making an offer?
Let’s say that Dan Duquette was totally on the level when he said that the Orioles didn’t want him because the fans didn’t like him. I think he would have been right – Orioles fans have never liked Bautista. Mainly because he’s never not taken an opportunity to show the Orioles up on the field. Beating them is one thing, showing them up is quite another.
Bautista’s a showboater, and guys like that have never done well in Baltimore. In any sport. But would he help the Orioles on the field? That’s the true question. And that’s ultimately the one that a lot of Orioles fans will want to know before they render judgement on a potential deal for Bautista.
I’m not sure that there’s anyone out there who would look at Bautista’s attitude and say that’s exactly what the Orioles need. Bautista’s a guy who’s going to get his teammates injured if he isn’t careful. Remember the time he tried to throw an Orioles’ runner out at first base after a base hit? That’s the type of bush league attitude that he brings to the table and that the Orioles are trying to avoid. Again, I’m not sure that anyone’s looking at his attitude and thinking that the Orioles sorely need someone like that. Whether he would help the team on the field or not.
For the record, Bautista had a WAR (wins above replacement) of 1.0 last year. That in effect means that Bautista’s team will get one additional win as opposed to if some other run-of-the-mill player was in his spot. That’s certainly a positive WAR, and there’s no doubt about that. But keep in mind that stat can’t tell you how many losses he might induce with his attitude. So…do we really think that it would behoove the O’s to go after Bautista?