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The Red Sox made a pitch for Jose Bautista at the winter meetings

Jan 25, 2011, 10:14 PM EDT

Jose Bautista swings

According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Red Sox made “multiple offers” for Jose Bautista at last month’s winter meetings.

These conversations took place after Jayson Werth rocked the baseball world by signing with the Nationals and before the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford, but the addition of Bautista would have likely had a radical impact on Theo Epstein’s offseason plans. Alas, the talks apparently didn’t go very far.

Major league sources say the Red Sox “never got the sense” that the Blue Jays were serious about making a deal. Rosenthal reports that other clubs pursued Bautista, but that the Blue Jays preferred to keep him.

Bautista responded to the report tonight via Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

“It’s all just rumors to me at this stage…who knows if any of it is true? There’s nothing for me to comment on yet.”

Bautista also said that he’s not disappointed that the Blue Jays have yet to approach him regarding a multi-year contract.

“Not upset at all. Everything will work itself out.”

Last season’s surprise home run king is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. He filed for $10.5 million and was offered $7.6 million from the Blue Jays when arbitration figures were exchanged last Tuesday. It’s increasingly likely that the two sides will head to a hearing next month.

Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Red Sox fans are just fine with the way this offseason has played out.

  1. shaggylocks - Jan 25, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Well, the Sox completed the Gonzalez trade before the winter meetings, so it likely had no effect on that trade. It’s doubtful they would have gone all in on Crawford, though, unless they had plans to move around a few more pieces.

    • D.J. Short - Jan 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM

      Totally right. My bad.

      • jagmania65 - Jan 26, 2011 at 5:18 AM

        Isn’t, “not going all in on Crawford” radical enough of an impact?

  2. machomaniac - Jan 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    The jays should keep Bautista they’re in good shape with contracts n he’s a good influence on the Hispanic players

  3. andrewkw - Jan 26, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    In the end it worked out for everyone.

    The Red Sox got the player they wanted first AND a better outfielder.
    The Jays kept the better outfielder AND shed the worst contract there is.
    The Padres got their prospects.
    The Angels got to overpay an outfielder who won’t make a significant difference.

  4. BC - Jan 26, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Hitting (and one-year-wonder-factor) aside, would you rather have Crawford playing in your outfield or Bautista? No contest. And Boston grabs a Gold-Glove level 1B to boot. Youkilis is probably a B+ third baseman fielding-wise, maybe A-. They made the right moves, they didn’t need Bautista.

  5. cur68 - Jan 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    The Sox are smart. They know how old Crawford is and how much he wants to go out on a high. He’s a safe bet to have on your team; he’ll be a good influence, and he’ll have worked hard to be not only in shape but ready to go at the plate. They are trying to put together the right ratio of personality, talent, and work ethic to mirror the teams that won them titles. Thing is, Bautista is the better bet in such a mix. The Sox realize now what the Jays realized late two season’s ago; the dude’s never really been coached or allowed to play much. Give him a chance, help him a bit, and he might be really good. Turns out they were right. That guy was having a reasonably solid career, in a tough league, with little coaching while platooning and playing every position but catcher or pitcher (bet he coulda done that, too). It takes an enormous amount of skill to do that, something the Jays finally clued in to. So, add some coaching, give him a steady job, and let him swing hard; he went from solid to effing brilliant. The Rays were entirely correct to go after Jose Bautista. He’s the Hispanic Cal Ripkin; durable, quietly charismatic, peaks later in his career, steady personality, a good influence, grows a great beard, and smart enough to know what works and what doesn’t. He was the right ingredient to complete a championship team for them. Bautista calling Fenway his home park? He’d have threatened for the league record in home runs, you can depend on it. The Jays keeping him and keeping him happy will really spell out how their season will go; without Wells’ enormous contract they have room to develop some guys who will really benefit from being around Bautista. Yes way Jose`.

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