Jose Bautista’s bargaining power might be so low that the Orioles could actually afford him, so why aren’t they interested?
When it comes Jose Bautista’s free agency, Baltimore Orioles GM Dan Duquette has an easy excuse not to open up contract talks with the 36-year-old right fielder. Simply put, the fans just cannot possibly stomach seeing Joey Bats suit up for their team. Bautista made his MLB debut with the Orioles in 2004, but since blossoming into a star in Toronto, there has been no love lost between Bautista and his former team.
Seems like a fair enough excuse, even if the Orioles are in the market for right-field and DH help next year. Bautista has made himself Public Enemy Number One in Baltimore with his arrogant, brash antics over the years. He has clashed with Darren O’Day of all people, one of the nicest players in the game. Adam Jones, the undisputed leader of the Orioles is also none too fond of Bautista.
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It’s a bit of a cop out by Duquette to cite the fans as the reason for his disinterest in Jose Bautista. Most Baltimore fans are starving for a World Series title and have grown impatient with the nickle and diming by the front office. Waiting for the Orioles to ultimately pass on Mark Trumbo and sign Angel Pagan, Nick Hundley, or Chris Carter while the Boston Red Sox are out acquiring Chris Sale is a tough pill to swallow. Why not just come right out and say Bautista, at 36, is not worth the money he is seeking? That’s an even better way to poke the bear one last time before he leaves Toronto.
At the end of the day, the Orioles could pony up for Bautista if Peter Angelos is willing to loosen the purse strings this year. Buck Showalter and Adam Jones are more than capable of keeping the clubhouse in check, and the fans just want to win. It’s been a frustrating offseason for Orioles fans so far, and it may not get any better with the rest of the division continuing to load up.