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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jose Bautista Won't Be a Twin

For the last few days speculation has been rampant among local Minnesota Twins fans that they might sign outfielder/designated hitter Jose Bautista, formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays. I think it's completely false.

The rumors began because Twins beat writer Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported that the Twins had reached out to several agents in the event they decide to keep Brian Dozier, and one of those agents was the agent of Jose Bautista. I think Bollinger does an admirable job and I'm a fan of his, but he fails to mention that Bautista's agent is also Ervin Santana's agent.

Others picked up the news, and it spread as if the team was seriously considering a run at the slugger. Bautista will reportedly accept a one-year deal, but only if it's for more than the $17.2 million qualifying offer he already turned down.

For a team as far away from contending as the Twins are, there's no way they'd be willing to shell out that kind of money AND give up a top 40 draft pick (as they would have to) to sign a player that may never return to his old form.

With a log jam of designated hitter options already, Bautista isn't likely going to turn the Twins into a contender, even if he returns to the old star he was. I think this is nothing more than the Twins throwing Santana's agent, Jay Alou, a bone to possibly give him more negotiating leverage with Toronto or other teams. It also gives the Twins a little leverage in talks with the Dodgers, as they can point to a solid plan B if they don't get what they want for Dozier. I don't think this is really a great move, and it's not going to work on the Dodgers, but there's no harm in trying.

Just know that it's extremely unlikely that Jose Bautista is wearing a Twins uniform next season.