The Mets have agreed to a one-year, major league deal with INF/OF Jose Bautista, who was released by the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, the Mets announced Tuesday.
Bautista will be available for Tuesday night's game, with Phillip Evans optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster.
SNY's Andy Martino had reported a deal was close.
Bautista, who was just 5-for-35 (.143) with two home runs after joining Atlanta's big-league roster on May 5, had agreed to a minor league deal in April.
The 37-year-old Bautista hit .230/.308/.366 with 23 HR in 157 games last season for the Blue Jays after hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 HR in 116 games for them in 2016.
The Mets are down to three healthy outfielders on the 40-man roster. They are also currently without 3B Todd Frazier, who is progressing as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.
Bautista is two seasons removed from any sort of production at the plate, he strikes out a ton, and is probably standing with one foot on field and the other already in retirement. That said, for a team like the Mets, who are so short on outfielders that they're turning to Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes and Dominic Smith for help, Bautista might be worth a temporary flyer.
I'd ordinarily not consider such an option, but with Juan Lagares out for the season, Jay Bruce nursing plantar fasciitis, Michael Conforto still not totally himself, and Yoenis Cespedes out with a hip injury, Bautista doesn't look that bad.
I'm all for Flores getting time at other positions, but he's all ankles at no matter what position he is playing, and I don't think roaming the outfield will be a great fit for him.
In other words, when considering all of the above, the paltry .330 OBP and 11 home runs Bautista was projected to hit this season actually seems like the best of all bad choices.
Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Yeah, the Mets need outfield depth, and have nothing to lose by taking a shot on Bautista.
It's hard to imagine they have much to gain, either. By most accounts, the one-time slugger is finished as an impact player, and maybe as a player, period.
It's not going to make or break the season either way. But signing Bautista also carries a whiff of desperation.