Believe it or not, there are reasons that people voluntarily go to Cincinnati without being forced to by some baseball trade. And there are also reasons people hang out with Charlie Sheen that don’t involve inhaling half of Colombia off of naked prostitutes… y’know, presumably.
But that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a notably curious exchange on the ol’ Twitter back on Saturday night:
Jose Bautista! I received the pkg! TY! now before you pak your bags for Cincy grab Mayor Ford and teach him to hit c http://t.co/dQ39UPTP9d
— Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) November 16, 2013
My pleasure man! @charliesheen looking forward to seeing you take batting practice again this summer!
— Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) November 16, 2013
Marruci, you may not be aware, is Marruci Sports, the most-used bat in the Major Leagues, apparently, and, according to Forbes, a company on which Bautista sits on the board of directors– “the only known active Major League Baseball player” to hold such a position (making him a direct competitor of Robbie Alomar’s just-launched Alomar Baseball).
And Cincinnati is, of course, one of the many potential places that Jose Bautista could end up, should there actually be something to the far-too-many rumours we’ve been hearing so far this winter about his name being floated in trade talks– the latest coming from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who gives what he’s hearing a very unappetizing Red Sox flavour:
Rumors that Bautista could be dealt for pitching have persisted for a couple of offseasons but the Blue Jays haven’t wanted to break up the Bautista-Edwin Encarnacion dynamic in the middle of the order. The Jays are desperate for at least two starting pitchers and dealing Bautista may land them one. “It’s a name we’re hearing through backchannels right now, but wouldn’t be surprised if he’s available” said an NL general manager. Bautista was one of Farrell’s personal favorites in Toronto, however it’s doubtful the Blue Jays would deal within the division — even though the Red Sox have extra pitching.
Clearly a Bautista trade to Boston is never, ever going to happen, but I did spitball about the possibility of Cincinnati last month, and while the exchange with Charlies Sheen clearly doesn’t mean anything either, it’s certainly interesting that we’ve got to the point where anything that includes Bautista’s name makes us jump. I don’t think we’d say the same about Edwin Encarnacion, or Brett Lawrie, or anyone else who we didn’t think was genuinely on the block– or at least who we haven’t been conditioned to think is on the block.
I’d still be rather surprised if the Jays end up trading their all-world slugger– not to mention aghast, I’m certain, that the club will have ended up using Bautista as capital rather using than actual money on the free agent market, but… we’ll cross that bridge if we ever should come to it.
And I guess hearing all the chatter will soften the blow? Maybe? I don’t even know anymore…
There was some excellent chatter about this very topic at the start of the 6 PM hour of Friday’s Prime Time Sports, in which Stephen Brunt said that he’d been told that there is “nothing imminent,” not only with Bautista but with everything the Jays are working on. He noted that, as many– Alex Anthopoulos included, I believe– have said, it’s still looking like most teams are waiting for several free agent shoes to drop before they can do much, with the Winter Meetings likely recapturing its central role in the transaction frenzy following last winter’s earlier-developing market. Brunt also reiterated that he thinks, of the likelihood of Bautista being moved, “on a scale of one to ten, it’s seven.” If it makes it better, though, he doesn’t think they’re going to “strip mine their prospects” again.
So… there’s that.