Atlanta Braves Sign Jose Bautista to Minor League Deal (Giuseppe)

Longtime Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista will make a move from the stacked American League East to the 2 horse race in the National League East.

Along with the Toronto Blu Jays, Jose Bautista has also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Bautista enters 2018 with a career .250 career batting average with 331 homers, 927 runs batted in and 970 runs scored in 1,676 games. 2017 was not kind to Bautista who had a .203/.308/.366 slash line with 23 home runs and 170 strikeouts.

Bautista’s $17 Million mutual option was turned down by the Blue Jays, making him a free agent. Jose Bautista was a victim of the dreadful 2017-18 Offseason and went unsigned all Winter.

Bautista will reportedly make the switch from right field to third base. Jose Bautista played third base in 8 games last season (38 innings) but he hasn’t consistently played the hot corner since 2007 when he appeared in 126 games there for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rio Ruiz, Ryan Flaherty and Charlie Culberson make are the Blue Jays’ third baseman with Freddie Freeman also able to man the hot corner. Bautista, while normally a right fielder, will give the Braves even more depth at third if he does wind up making the Major League ballclub.

The Braves will take on Bautista with little to no risk and Bautista will get a shot at reviving a career once thought to be over. If Bautista makes the Major League club, the Braves will get a veteran presence, depth at third, and a solid power bat to boot.

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