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Former Phillie Jose Bautista pours cold water on idea of being two-way player


Jose Bautista spent part of the 2018 season with the Phillies. (Ian D’Andrea)

In an interview on MLB Network Radio‘s “The Leadoff Spot,” Jose Bautista poured some cold water on the notion that he was attempting a comeback as a two-way player.

Bautista mentioned that he spent some time this offseason working out with New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was his former teammate in Toronto from 2014-2017 and said earlier this month that Bautista could find a spot in a big league bullpen. But Bautista maintained that while he would entertain a comeback, he doesn’t intend for it to be on the mound.

“I’m a hitter. I’m a Major League Baseball hitter, and I would entertain an opportunity to get back to the big leagues as a hitter.”

Reports of Bautista attempting a comeback as a two-way player came early last month from ESPN‘s Jeff Passan. And although Bautista dismissed the notion for the most part in this interview, don’t count anything out. Bautista added that “If somebody calls me and says ‘Hey, you want to be a two-way guy?,’ I’d be a fool to say no.”

Bautista, 39, has one of the more interesting career arcs in baseball history. He spent time in several different organizations and looked the part of a light-hitting utility player. But, after adding a leg kick to his swing, Bautista had one of the most unforeseen breakouts in baseball history in 2010. Between 2010 and 2016, Bautista hit 272 home runs and made six All-Star teams while playing for the Blue Jays.

After several seasons as one of the elite sluggers in the game, Bautista began a sharp decline. He spent 2018 on three different teams in the National League East, including a short stint with the Phillies in which he had an .870 OPS. He has not played in the majors since. Any return, as a two-way player or not, would be another twist to an already fascinating career.

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