It's official. The Toronto Blue Jays have inked Jose Bautista to a 5 year, $65 million dollar contract. The deal will pay Bautista $8 million in the first year, and 14 per year for the last four, and there is a club option for a sixth year at 14 million. If they choose not to exercise the option, there is a $1 million buy out.
From what I heard and read last night when the rumors of the signing came out, a lot of fans and media members thought it was a lot of years, and a lot of money for an unproven player. However today it seems that a lot of people have warmed up to the signing.
I still like contract, for the same reasons I gave last night. I was surprised that there was no "out" clause for the player after two or three years, and there isn't a no trade clause in the contract either. As I said last before, I think this is a great deal for both the player and the team.
It was encouraging tonight to listen to the comments both Alex Anthopoulos and Jose Bautista made during the press conference, and on Prime Time Sports afterward. Alex referred to Bautista as a "core building block going forward for this organization." He had a lot of positive things to say about Jose's work ethic and attitude as well.
Bautista mentioned a few times that winning is important to him, and he believes that the Blue Jays are poised to win in the short term. He made it very clear that his goal is to win, and this is where he wants to be.
When asked about the contract, Bautista had this to say: "I'm just really excited and ecstatic to wear the Blue Jays uniform, to play in Canada in front of our fans and represent also the Dominican Republic and try to win more championships and bring them to the city of Toronto just like they were in the early '90s,"
"I can't stress enough how good I feel about this organiztion. How good I feel about this city and the country. Being able to wear proudly the blue jays uniform for the next 5 seasons, hopefully six. I think we're in a good spot. I think our organization has taken a bunch of steps forward in the last couple of years and we're going to be ready to contend very soon. Ultimately that's what sold me. The opportunity to win in the short term and we've got a great group of guys here and hopefully we can win as many games as we can starting this season."
For now, Bautista and the Jays seem like a happy marriage. Here's hoping that continues when the honey moon is over.