After being released by the Atlanta Braves, Former Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista figured he was out of a job. He’d not shown well in 12 games with Atlanta and that meant that it might take some time to find another gig in the majors, but instead, Bautista has signed a one-year deal with the New York Mets. It was officially announced by the Mets’ organization on Tuesday.
This will be another chance for the once former home run slugger to see if he can’t extend his professional baseball career.
We’ve signed outfielder José Bautista to a one-year major league contract. Bautista will wear #11 and be available for tonight’s game. To make room on the 25-man roster, we’ve optioned Phillip Evans to Las Vegas. #Mets pic.twitter.com/Sd3UMy0zT1
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 22, 2018
It as a quick assignment change for Bautista who got his stuff and flew to the game so quickly that he didn’t have time to meet his new manager until stretching was over. Mickey Callaway told him he’d be playing left field, he said, ‘I got it,'” and Bautista proceed to get one hit in three at-bats in his Mets debut. The team lost 5-1 to the Florida Marlins.
The Mets are hurting for offense and their hope is that Bautista might help. After a hot start this season, the organization is now struggling, barely above .500 and perhaps Bautista and his bat, along with some playoff experience will help the Mets franchise get back on track and head toward the postseason.
The 37-year-old Bautista finished 1-for-3 and called it “one of the wildest days” in his career. “When I’m ready to call it quits, I’ll do that,” he said. “I don’t think I’m ready to do that.”
The Mets have little to lose here. It’s a short-term signing that has some potential for big upside if Bautista can get his bat going and heat up a little. There’s no chance he turns into the former 20-30 home run guy that used to play for the Blue Jays but some hitting here and there, especially against left-handers is only going to help the Mets.