Despite Jose Bautista initially indicating there is no room for negotiations with respect to his contract demands, he may now be open to giving theToronto Blue Jays’ front office some leeway.
Bautista publicly stated last month that he had extended the terms he deemed acceptable and wasn’t willing to budge. However, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Tuesday that he hears Bautista prefers to stay in Toronto and is willing to negotiate.
The 35-year-old expects to play into his 40s and believes he conditions his body in a way that will allow him to do so. Speaking with Hall of Fame baseball columnist Peter Gammons last week, Bautista told him that he is seeking a six-year contract, while Heyman notes the outfielder wants a deal into his 40s and sees himself as a $30-million plus player.
Bautista has not imposed any deadline to work out an extension as he plays out the final year of his current deal and previously acknowledged that it would be an honor to finish with the team that revived his career. He has also stressed the importance of receiving a contract that he believes fairly represents his worth.
“Baseball has a great way of measuring each player’s value and it’s about how much of that are they willing to share with the player,” Bautista said last month of ownership. “I understand the business and I don’t believe in the whole budget and payroll. I don’t believe in any of that stuff. I know exactly how baseball works. Especially a team that’s structured like we are.”