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:


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.

Comments (79)

  1. It’s possible AA is using the same bait and switch technique that was used on Ricciardi when Lincecum was dangled in front of him a while back.

  2. Votto

    • No.

      • ha!

        • Hi Allen, Thanks for visiting the site, we have a like buottn at the bottom of each page. It’s in the footer.Are you thinking about coming to the San Miguel Workshop in May? We invited Roman Loranc to join us. This is a rare opportunity because he doesn’t teach workshops. We have a few spaces left open if you want to come.Thanks again!

  3. Hi everyone, I am going to make a prognostication that will be true: JP Arencibia + Maicer Izturis + Pitcher for Wilin Rosario + Josh Rutledge

  4. The Jays are in Cincinnati in June, figured that’s what Sheen meant.

    • I think that’s probably true. Love that stadium. Would be nicer if the river behind it weren’t shit-brown though.

    • I am pretty sure Charlie Sheen also took batting practice in Toronto with the Jays the last two years?

      They often have celebrities hand out with the team around game time, for a variety of reasons.

  5. “Clearly a Bautista trade to Boston is never, ever going to happen”

    Why not? Roger Clemens went to NYY from the Jays…

    • Pedant.

      • I can see them trading JB to Boston. If they know something about him that Boston doesn’t know. I bet AA is itching to pull a Sirotka on those guys. But, even though I hate them, that front office is excellent. I doubt you could pull a fast one on them.

        • Come on.

          • I don’t think it happens, but even if AA would countenance it, what excess pitching does Boston have that brings back Bautista. Cafardo seems to think a 3 crappy pitchers for one slugger will interest the Jays we’re giving him too much credit even discussing it…

    • Nope…can’t see that happening – no way no how. I think Bautista breaks with the team – but if they shit the bed again early in the season and are out of contention early, I can see a move by the deadline. But still, he doesn’t go to Boston.

  6. Since I have sights set really high for what the Jays will do to upgrade at second base… Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada is considering a grievance against the team for service time manipulation, while ESPN NY says the Mets will probably want to deal Tejada anyways.

    Anyways, Tejada was terrible last year, though he had a broken leg I think which could have played a role. The two years before, he hit decently and was worth just under 2 WAR in about 2/3rds of a season. He’ll be cheap too, and is only 23.

    He played shortstop for the Mets, which fits with what AA has said about needing a shortstop-caliber defender to play 2B in Toronto.

    I dunno. Could be a really bad gamble, but it might be a good cheap upgrade too.

    • A lot of Tejada’s 2.6 career WAR (1,359 plate appearances) is tied to the fact that he’s a shortstop. I suppose a Tejada/Goins platoon wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if it means spending the majority of your capital elsewhere, but I don’t see him as a starting second baseman.

      • The shortstop value is definitely there, but the adjustment from short to second isn’t huge, and hopefully the good defense carries over, or even looks better at second.

        As for the career WAR – that number is right, but if you get selective (and maybe you shouldn’t do this!) – he was awful in his rookie year and his injury-filled 2013, posting negative WARs – but in 2011 and 2012, was worth 3.4 WAR in 877 PAs, which would be ~2-2.5 WAR over a full season.

        Not saying he’s a great option, just an interesting one.

        • I’d also be happy with a Goins/Tejada platoon (pro: cheap, good defense) as long as we acquire a catcher that is likely to make an offensive contribution. Still, I doubt the Mets will simply give him away.

          • Give him away, no, but he shouldn’t have too high a price. Is a flip for Sierra reasonable, seeing as they want powerful outfielders, and aren’t exactly hanging their hats on 2014?

  7. In an off season where the “major” signings have been Nick Punto, Marlon Byrd, Brayan Pena and Francisco Pena, any speculation on a major leaguer with a pulse is welcome speculation.

    Gotta give props to Stoeten for making the best of a bad situation.
    He does not have much to work with.

    Here’s an entirely made up piece of speculation based on the article.
    If Sheen and Bautista are friends of sort, maybe Bats gets a guest shot gig on Anger Management. Play with that concept for a bit and the skit almost writes itself.

  8. [...] Jose Bautista rumours have been so persistent I’m starting to believe that there could be a shred of truth in them. Throw in Charlie Sheen and Twitter and I just have no idea anymore. [DJF] [...]

  9. I know it’s just nitpicking because I can’t stand the Boston media, but “desperate for at least two starting pitchers” seems like quite an overstatement. Desperate for one starting pitcher? Absolutely. Desperate for two starting pitchers? Probably not. They have enough depth that they should be able to fill the fifth spot internally if they can’t find an upgrade. Desperate for more than two starting pitchers? Well that’s just stupid, with the aforementioned depth and Dickey/Morrow/Buehrle holding down the top three.

    • It isn’t nitpicking. It’s showing how useless any insight from that guy is. We need one top of the rotation starter. Getting a second new pitcher, at the cost of our most feared hitter makes no sense to me.

      • Why would it have to be a second guy coming back for Bautista?

        • Well assuming, in my make-believe world, that they are getting one pitcher, somehow, before they would trade away Bautista.

          Otherwise we basically are worse off than last year – we’ll have replaced the potential that was Josh Johnson for one of our best hitters. 2 guys out, one guy in.

          And yes I realize how much this is just semantics…. but still.

    • Morrow isn’t really much more of a question mark than any other pitcher not named Buehrle or Verlander.

      And we have several guys looking ready to come up. We also have a couple that should be healed from major surgeries. We have McGowan as a long shot also. And we have Happ, who looked quite serviceable at times.

      For how much pitching costs, and for how delicate pitchers are (by nature of their craft), I really would be fine with doing substantial upgrades at 2B and C and just taking it from there.

      • I like that too. Not too many people have commented on the idea of MacGowan as a starter. I see that as a long shot but the guy who I would give a serious look at would be Redmond: nothing special, he just went out and gave them innings every time.

      • This is why they need two reliable sp’s. If morrow goes down you then you have to get lucky with the other guys.

        I like hutchinson more than most but he cant be relied upon at this point. Sure maybe you put him in there and he gives you the calibre of innings needed but that is a huge ‘if”.

        Yes pitching is expensive but since its the toughest thing to develop why not just pay for it when someone with a track record becomes availalbe for a team in the jays situation?

        I’m not saying going with one SP won’t work out its just that the odds go way down compared to adding two reliable sp.

        • When Morrows next dl stint comes round they’d be relying on a whole bunch of guys who have yet to be deemed reliable.

      • if sufficient upgrades can be made at 2b/catcher sure they might not need as much pitching but might as well fill all the holes if they can. Even if Bautista needs to be dealt for pitching you can sign a cruz or choo to plug the hole. Its just money.

  10. Seeing the jays play in cinci was my fave baseball trip ever. Just sayin’

  11. “Soften the blow”
    Nice one.

  12. Both Bailey and Cueto are FAs at the end of 2014 – there is definitely a fit in this regard with the Jays if they think that either one will be too expensive for them to keep (which they probably will be). The Reds made the post season and have a damn good rotation + a current outfield that would feature: Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton (I imagine..). I’m going out on a limb and guessing Choo is gone. If that is the case then Cincy’s other OF options aren’t very exciting: Paul, Robinson & Heisey.. From my perspective if Choo stays – there is no need for Bautista

    The question is whether or not they would be willing to part with a top tier pitcher who they would probably lose in a year to acquire a RF that is under contract through 2015 and a younger pitcher with loads of team control left.. They may feel that they can only afford one of Bailey and Cueto. If Toronto feels like they can afford to keep the pitcher they acquire in a longer-term deal it might make sense to deal Bautista – so long as they also feel like they could replace him in the outfield.. Hello Shin Soo Choo?

    • Lost it at the end.

      • He’s saying trade bautista to cinci for pitching and replace him on the FA market with choo.

      • I can only keep things rational for so long.. I’d still like to keep my image of AA as Ninja alive and well. Signing Choo would be the ninja icing on the ninja cake. But that last part was definitely tongue in cheek.

        Still – I’d do the trade if I thought that the Jays would pony up and extend the pitcher past this season. Cueto is a little risky considering he injured back in the same place like 16 times this season (but so is Bautista frankly) – but both Bailey and Cueto would be huge upgrades for the Jays rotation. The drawback is that there aren’t a lot of options out there externally or internally to replace Bautista’s bat.

        • I would try to extend one and get a draft pick for the other.

          • Normally so would I – but Cincy’s team could use the help now rather than later given the age of Votto, Bruce et al. It depends on whether their plans for the FA pitchers are to help build the org going forward or to win at this moment. Trading for someone like Bautista might be a compromise if they could also squeeze out a tolerable young pitcher to cover them in the rotation. The fact that Bautista does what he does for $14M definitely would help his value in this case.

    • You’re talking about trading multiple years of Bautista *and* lots of cost-controlled years of someone cost-controlled for one year of a starter. That’s a really shitty deal for the Jays even though they really need pitching.

      Maybe Bautista for Bailey and Cueto makes sense, though? I’m sure at least one team says no to that, but I’m not sure which.

  13. Colombia, not Columbia

  14. It’s hard to fathom a scenario in which a competitive team add Bautista but loses a top of the rotation pitcher.

    For that reason alone I don’t see him being dealt just yet. Bautista’s value isn’t at an all time high, in fact is low with injury concerns, so starting the year and seeing where you are at the deadline makes more sense.

    Usually teams who trade big pieces like jbau get back prospects. They need players ready to help more immediately.

    • Cincy is a bit of a special case though since they have 2 top tier pitchers who will hit FA next season – and already have a player in Latos who they will need to extend after 2015. They aren’t the richest team in the league either – so they have to be wary of the budget.

      Whether or not that means they would consider moving a pitcher for an outfielder (or a package with another younger pitcher) remains to be seen. But for them, they could move a pitcher without losing him / both for nothing to FA, and gain a huge bat that would help them in the middle of their lineup. Its a gamble – but if they are going to lose a pitcher after this season anyway – it might make more sense for them to gain a guy that helps in a big way right now.

  15. Would a pitcher prevent as many runs as Bautista would score or hit in ? Isn’t that the measuring stick u would have to use?

  16. The world needs, nay deserves, a Charlie Sheen / Rob Ford month long bender.

  17. I don’t think the Jays are that desperate for pitching (desperate enough to create a hole in the heart of the batting order by dealing Bautista). Really I’d be satisfied if they just got one #3 quality starting pitcher and I’m sure that’s possible without having to deal Jose (or anyone for that matter).

    Imean we’ve got as solid MLB quality Pitchers… Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, Happ. Add one more to that (JImenez by preference) and I’m good with it. I would be perfectly comfortable with that starting rotation with Hutchison, Stroman, Drabek, and (if he somehow manages to right himself) Romero as depth.

  18. This has Brandon Phillips and Homer Bailey written all over it……… Likely JBats and a smaller piece for Phillips and Bailey.

  19. Phillies re-sign Ruiz.

  20. Trade Lind, Arencibia and a top 5 prospect for Kinsler. Then grab Ubaldo Jimenez and possibly Matt Garza. Offseason done.

    • Oh and grab Pierzynski too as catcher. If Nelson Cruz can be added as well then plan the parade.

      • Do you dream in technocolor or regular Disney Pixels?

        • Didn’t sense the sarcasm now did you…

          But in all seriousness Lind + Arencibia + prospect to Texas is a fucking good idea now that I think about it. Texas is loading off Kinsler almost certainly and they need a DH and a catcher. We will pick up majority of the salary from Lind and since he rakes in Texas it’s a steal for them. Arencibia can be a throw in as they also need a catcher. Plus on top of that if we give them a top 5 prospect Texas really has a good deal for a 2B that is on the downward peak having hit .277 career and losing speed on the basepaths faster than Fat bob.

          The rest are possible given we have the budget for it as free agency can be pricey.

          • Good lord, more Kinsler nonsense?

            No, they will not take our shit for him.

            • Well…technically it’s taking each other’s shit. While Kinsler may not really be viewed as shit, he sure as hell is expendable. They will either have to make him an OF or trade him and the latter seems more likely. So why not the Jays? Only shit we are really giving is Arencibia. Lind is solid especially at Arlington and the prospect can be debatable. I don’t see why you think it is non sense. It makes great sense. Instead of that Cano BS that people are spitting out (which is a fucking pipedream) this one can be manoeuvered given the time and desperation. Is it the best deal Texas can get? No probably not. But if they don’t find any suitors somethings gotta give.

              • Stop this nonsense, please.

              • I wouldn’t give Lind for Kinsler, let alone a top 5 prospect. Sure, he doesn’t strikeout much, and can draw the odd walk, other than that there is little upside. He has been slowed by injuries and wear and tear, has hit 250 ish 3 out of the last 5 seasons, his power has been sapped and his range is not anywhere close to the short stop mentality the the Jays brass has expressed. He’s not a horrible player, but a horrible fit. Especially if that’s the price. J.P. may end up there, but that would be after he was non-tendered. If AA can trade J.P. for anything at this point, it should be considered a coup.

  21. [...] Andrew Stoeten at DJF shares a bit of a weird exchange that involves Charlie Sheen, Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista and something about packing his bags for Cincinnati? [...]

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