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Jose Bautista requests $10.5 million in arbitration

Jan 18, 2011, 8:17 PM EDT

Jose Bautista swinging

Now here’s a really interesting case.

Of course, Jose Bautista shocked the baseball world last season by leading the majors with 54 home runs to go along with a solid .260/.378/.617 batting line, 124 RBI and a .995 OPS. Such a breakthrough season can be particularly tricky come arbitration time, so it’s no shock that the two sides were unable to come to an agreement before today’s deadline.

Bautista, who earned $2.4 million last season, filed for $10.5 million in arbitration today. The Blue Jays countered with $7.6 million.

So, what are the chances they avoid a hearing? According to what Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, the club is only willing to negotiate a multi-year deal.

“Our policy is … if we don’t have deals done by the 1 p.m. deadline, we would not negotiate a one-year deal,” Anthopoulos said Tuesday. “As a general policy, if multiyear deals were to ever come about, we certainly could continue to negotiate those. But those are obviously things that we keep private, keep quiet and keep in house.”

We don’t know how much confidence the Blue Jays have in Bautista to replicate his success from last season, but they have already guaranteed him a salary approaching $8 million. That’s not unreasonable. However, there’s a risk if they let this go to a hearing. Not just because of how uncomfortable they can be for both sides, but also because if Bautista comes close to matching his production from last season, he’ll be poised to cash in as a free agent next winter. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

  1. andrewkw - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I think we are going to see our first arbitration case since Shanon Stewart? It has been a while, but it’s unlikely the jays will want to commit to the amount of money he’d want in a 3 year deal likely 30-35 million if not more and Bautista probably thinks he can have one more great year even if it’s not close to last year and get a contract worth double that.

    Even if they do end up paying him 10.5 next year I can’t see them complaining much. Considering what they got out of him last year, he’s also willing to play either RF or 3rd base and their payroll should be down from last year despite the fact they are not mandated to cut.

    • missthemexpos - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:41 PM

      That is the multi-million dollar question, just how much does Bautista want to commit to the Jays for the next three years?

      • henryd3rd - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:49 AM

        Bautista’s numbers made everyone scratch their heads. Just look at his career stats and you have to ask where did that come from? This guy never hit more then 16 HR or drove in more the 60 rbi. Last year’s incredible increase in all of his offensive categories make one want say WTF!!!!!!

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    This is a very tough call because both sides have a valid point. The Jays are saying all the right things so they do not antagonize him.

  3. machomaniac - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    They should just pay him. Keep him happy. He’s a good element on the team especially with the Latino players

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