While the Blue Jays have been quiet lately, they are still in discussions with a number of free agents. Per Steve Phillips, the team is in discussion with every corner outfielder available. In his article, Phillips mentions that Jose Bautista is now considered the team’s top target.
The first-choice options include: Brandon Moss, Michael Saunders, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Jose Bautista. Chris Coghlan and Angel Pagan are on the call list too, but only in case of desperation.
A source familiar with the Jays’ way of thinking indicates they’re confident they will land one of their preferred options.
More interesting though is how Toronto ranks the available corner outfielders. Sources indicate the Jays have Bautista at the top of their list of remaining performers.
That doesn’t mean the Jays are going to sign Bautista and bring him back. Being able to make the right deal matters.
This is an interesting development. While Bautista has appeared to be the best outfield fit all winter, the team has appeared to be reluctant to bring him back.
The Jays have attached a qualifying offer to Bautista, which means that if he signs elsewhere, then they will receive a compensatory first-round draft pick. However, Bautista’s market has been softer than originally anticipated. Perhaps the Jays now feel like they can sign him to a deal that would outweigh the value of the draft pick.