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Mets sign Jose Bautista to one-year deal

Once a feared hitter, the final stop of Jose Bautista’s major league career may be inside the confines of Citi Field

With several members of the Mets on the injury reserve list, something had to be done by the team to hold it all together. The team had to think fast. In a move that can be considered polarizing by fans, the team signed slugger Jose Bautista to a one-year major league deal.

Bautista played for the Mets immediately after getting signed. He went 1-for-3 with a double.

The Mets, in the middle of a youth movement, picked up an aging player contemplating retirement in Bautista. One of the most powerful players at one point, the 37-year old has recently seen a dip in his production value. A free agent after last season, Bautista did not get signed until late April by the Braves. In 12 games for Atlanta, he hit .143 with two home runs and five total hits. They released him last weekend, making him available for the taking.

It is known that Jose’s best days are behind him. His credentials however show he can be one of the top hitters in baseball, if he wants to be. After starting off as a shadow in Pittsburgh, Bautista blew the door down in Toronto. He hit 54 home runs in 2010, becoming a household name in the process. From 2011-2015, Bautista hit over 173 home runs, guiding the Blue Jays, and himself, back to relevancy. The six-time All-Star has over 333 home runs in his career. Over the years, his skills have diminished, his lowest point being last season when he hit .203 with 23 home runs in Toronto.

This is sort of a reunion for the Mets and Bautista. He was a member of the Mets’ organization back in 2004, when the Royals traded him to Flushing for first baseman Justin Huber. Immediately after, he was traded to Pittsburgh with Ty Wigginton for Kris Bensen and Jeff Keppinger. It appears this tour with the Mets will last longer.

Just like the signing for Adrian Gonzalez, it is a low risk, high reward deal. Assuming the one-year deal is not worth much, Bautista is just a rental until players like Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes return from the disabled list. He is not the answer, but neither is Jose Reyes at third base, who can’t seem to manage any hits any time he gets a chance to play.

As time goes on, the Mets hope they won’t have to rely on Bautista too much. Whether he produces or not is up in the air. He is someone the Mets need to hold the team together, like glue. The glue sticking is always the hardest part to predict.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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