Could Jose Bautista Join the Texas Rangers in 2018?
By Andrew Webb
There has been plenty of bad blood between the Texas Rangers and slugger Jose Bautista. Despite their issues, Bautista is a premium hitter and would make a solid addition to the lineup. Is there any chance a deal could happen this winter?
At this point, almost everyone should be familiar with the events that occurred between the Texas Rangers and Jose Bautista. It all started with an unnecessary bat flip by Bautista, but then escalated to “The Punch” by Rangers infielder Rougned Odor.
While Odor wants to put what happened behind him, can the Rangers organization consider signing Bautista after the incident? Last winter, Bautista was a free agent and Texas wanted nothing to do with him, is that the same stance his time around?
Bautista, 37, is coming off a disappointing 2017 campaign with the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit .203 with 23 home runs and 65 RBIs in 157 games. The 14-year veteran has a career .250 average with 331 homers and almost 1000 runs knocked in.
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Fans can choose to like him or not, but there is no denying Bautista’s talent. He’s a six-time All-Star and all his first All-Star appearance wasn’t until he was 29 years old. Unlike most players, Bautista seemed to get better as he aged.
The Rangers don’t need Bautista as much as they did last season. Texas could still use him as a DH and part-time outfielder, but it seems far-fetched. Although, having a talent like Bautista improves almost every organization.
Yes, Bautista has a pretty enormous ego, but does have more walks (965) than RBIs (927) during his career. The Rangers lineup is desperately lacking someone like Bautista, but it seems he’s burned his own bridge on that one.
There is a way for Bautista to fit on the Rangers 2018 roster, but it’s improbable. Texas doesn’t want to create a media sideshow, especially an unnecessary and avoidable one. Bautista’s bat would help Texas, but not enough for the Rangers to create a circus over it.
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Adding Bautista would be highly toxic to the Rangers clubhouse. Odor wants to move on from the events of the past, but they can’t be forgotten or forgiven. Bautista is an incredible baseball player, but his presence would hinder more than help.