Opinion

Let’s address this Jose Bautista talk



jose-bautista-baseball-headshot-photo.jpgRumors will get louder.

Apparently one has the Phillies interested in outfielder Jose Bautista. That rumor is stemming from a Ken Rosenthal report.

So, of course, there is heat. People are talking about Bautista as a Phillie. Could he hit 20-25 home runs at Citizens Bank Park alone? How would he do against National League pitching? How would his addition help Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera, among others? And, since Bautista is a corner outfielder, he woudn’t necessarily put a damper in the Phils’ rebuilding plans, especially on a one-year deal, right?

Well, don’t get crazy. Rosenthal reported that the Phils aren’t entirely hot on Bautista, since they’re reluctant to give up a pick. (Remember, Bautista rejected the Blue Jays’ qualifying offer, so the Phils would give up their first eligible pick [45th overall] to sign him.) Of course, the Phils could sign Bautista and flip him at the deadline for young talent, but it’s not a sure bet that Joey Bats returns the Phils a decent haul (he could continue to decline — .234 in 116 games last season — and a three-true-types player worth $15M-$20M per season isn’t tempting to any team [see Howard, Ryan]).

That said, another name in Rosenthal’s report seems more likely. I’ve written before about Michael Saunders as a good low-risk, one- or two-year choice to fill the outfield while Nick Williams and others develop. That’s the smarter choice. While Bautista on a one- or two-year deal could be thrilling for a moment (imagine the bat flips!), it’s more wise that the Phils stay the course for now and hoard young talent.

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