Jose Bautista sure knows how to make an entrance at spring training.
— theScore (@theScore) February 24, 2016
The Toronto Blue Jays slugger reportedly asked for a new contract worth either $150 million over five years or $164 million over six years.
He’s denied those numbers but also refuses to correct them, saying he’s presented his case and now it’s up to the Jays to take it or leave it.
If his asking price is even close to what’s reported, his contract would be the largest ever given out by any of the Toronto sports franchises.
Bautista certainly thinks he’s worth it.
“I don’t think this should be a negotiation. I think I’ve proven myself,” he told reporters. “I know what my value is. Baseball has a great way of measuring each player’s value and it’s about how much of that are they willing to share with the player.”
Jays GM Ross Atkins refused to get into a war of words with his star outfielder.
“All of my interactions with Jose have been incredible,” Atkins said during a press conference. “I love being around the guy. I love talking baseball with him … but in relation to the negotiations, out of respect for him, out of respect for the Blue Jays organization, we just can’t get into the specifics of it.”
Bautista has clearly proven himself. But do the Jays want to pay for what he’s already done rather than what he’ll likely do moving forward?
At age 35, he seems to be in good health. However, there are very few players in baseball history who have gotten better or even maintained their past production into their late thirties.