I know what you might be thinking; how many times can we talk about the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Bautista?! And the answer to that is simple; as long as he remains on the free agent market. And I’ll be honest in that I’m surprised that Bautista’s still out there.
In saying that, it would have stood to reason to me that Toronto would have taken him back somehow by now. But obviously they’re as caught up on price as the Orioles can be. (Funny, they didn’t view things that way when trying to undercut Dan Duquette away from the O’s a few years ago.) But again, I would have thought that Bautista’s potential would have meant someone would have signed him by now.
Are his antics really that unpopular? I suspect that they are, although most teams might consider taking a chance on him if he’ll help their team. But I’m on record as saying that at some point Bautista’s the type of guy who’s going to get one of his teammates injured. You show us up, and we throw either at you or at your teammate. That’s part of baseball.
But again, are the Orioles being foolish in dodging a potential deal with Bautista? Many people complained that Dan Duquette put that on the fans, saying that Bautista’s unpopular. The fact is that he’s unpopular league-wide. The Orioles were just the only one willing to say it.
So would fans want someone that they previously loathed that might better the team? First off, I don’t think Bautista’s capable of putting up Trumbo-like numbers. He’s also had some injury problems the past couple of years. Combine that with the fact that he and his antics are unpopular, and that makes him tough to sign. Whether you’re the Orioles or someone else.
There’s a school of thought out there which states that the O’s should put all other things aside in signing guys like Bautista. And while that may be a valid point, sometimes I wonder if people don’t understand that stability and peace in the clubhouse is part of what allows the “Buck-O’s” to succeed. Bautista would threaten that – his mere presence.
Time will tell, but I am still surprised that he’s still out there. Someone will sign him, but probably for much less and much shorter than he wants. But he’ll only have himself and his attitude at times to blame.