Report: Orioles Not Interested in Jose Bautista Because “Fans Don’t Like Him”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The baseball winter meetings are in full swing, and there are deals to be made. Oddly enough though, two of the biggest bats available in former Toronto Blue Jays sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista remain unsigned.

In Bautista’s case, he reportedly began Spring Training in 2016 seeking somewhere in the range of a five-year, $150 million deal. A season marred by injuries and dropped production has seen his market value plummet, to the point where it now seems that he’ll be lucky to cash in a two-year, $30 million offer. No matter what he ends up signing for, one this is for sure — it won’t be in Baltimore.

According to Jon Heyman and Alex Seixeiro, the Orioles’ camp told Bautista’s representation that they weren’t interested simply because the Baltimore fans don’t like the 36-year old’s attitude.

Bautista has a history of ugly moments with the Orioles, especially relief pitcher Darren O’Day and outfielder Adam Jones. There have been intentional beanings and pimped home runs from both teams, leading to a lot of bad blood. Bautista has always been one of the more outspoken players in baseball, and it seems his cocky trash talk may be coming back to bite him. The Orioles have other, more legitimate, reasons to stay away from Bautista. Not only would they be committing a lot of money to an aging player, but they would also forfeit a draft pick to the Jays.

Another report claims that the Red Sox told Bautista point blank that they weren’t interested, with the most recent rumors having him again negotiating with the Blue Jays. He turned down their one-year, $17 million qualifying offer at the beginning of free agency.

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