A report surfaced Wednesday night from Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post that the Washington Nationals inquired with the Blue Jays about the availability of Bautista. In a guest appearance on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Thursday morning, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi explained why there’s not much to the story and if the Nationals did ask the Blue Jays about Bautista, it’s more of the case of a general manager simply doing his job.
“You inquire about everybody,” Davidi told hosts Ben Ennis and David Bastl. “If you’re the Blue Jays, you ask about a ton of guys and 98 per cent of them have no chance of being traded. I think it’s more interesting for off-season potential that they (could) have interest in him now. They might have interest in the off-season and Jose Bautista would certainly be a fit for the Nationals. They have great pitching and could use more offence. Subtracting Jose from a team that’s trying to win makes zero sense unless you get a piece that helps you win immediately. I don’t see a scenario where that works out.”
“There really isn’t a ton of significance to it.”
Davidi believes it would be completely illogical for the Nationals to move a premium prospect such as Lucas Giolito in exchange for a rental player, such as Bautista, so there isn’t a trade match that would make sense for either side, given that the Blue Jays are in a playoff race and trying to win the World Series this season.
Bautista, 35, played three games this week with the Blue Jays after missing close to a month with a turf toe injury. He went for 1-for-11 and scored a run, registered an RBI, walked three times, and struck out three times. On the season, he is hitting .224/.357/.439 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 300 plate appearances.
“As much as the Blue Jays fared well with Bautista out of the lineup, at some point (Edwin) Encarnacion, (Josh) Donaldson, and (Troy) Tulowitzki will cool off and you’re going to need Bautista there to carry you. And why would you subtract from the primary strength of this team? He’s not surplus. He’s an important part of this team and you don’t want to subtract. The goal at the deadline is to add to the roster without taking away from it so I’m not sure why that concept is so difficult for people.”
Entering Thursday’s action, the Blue Jays hold a wild card position at 57-45 and are two games back of the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.