It’s the end of a bat-flipping era. According to Jays GM Ross Atkins, it is “unlikely” that José Bautista will be returning to the Blue Jays for the 2018-19 season. Not a surprise, perhaps, but it’s sure to be a seismic shift in how the Jays play going forward. The Jays are currently one of the oldest team in the MLB, and the baseball season is gruelling. The team suffered from a host of injuries this season, many likely due to cumulative wear and tear (see Russell Martin’s oblique injury).
In no way am I trying to sound ageist (which would make me my own worst enemy), but it appears to be about time the Jays diversify their players a bit. Bautista is a solid hitter, and seemingly a great leader in the room, but his rotator cuff isn’t going to hold out forever, and the addition of Kendrys Morales means that the DH job is no longer available.
The big bat will certainly be missed, especially if the rumours are true and St. Louis is gunning for Josh Donaldson (another victim of an injury-plagued season). It’s time for a change, and I’m ready to see what the rookies can offer, but it’ll be sad to see the back of #19.
Thanks, Joey Bats.