From bat flips to brawls to ping-ponging around multiple teams in the same season, Jose Bautista has had an eventful MLB career.
Now, at 39, the former Toronto Blue Jays star says he’s not thinking about retirement just yet.
In an interview with MLB.com’s Nathalie Alonso, Bautista, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2018, said he doesn’t really know what will happen next in his career, but he doesn’t feel like he needs to retire right away.
“I don’t think that’s necessary right now,” Bautista told Alonso. “I haven’t given it much thought. I haven’t considered it yet.”
The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native says he’s enjoying life while awaiting the next chapter of his career.
“I’m focused on spending a lot of time with my family,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I can’t predict the future. I don’t really know what will happen with my career.”
After 10 seasons in Toronto, the six-time all-star signed a minor-league contract with the Atlanta Braves in April 2018. He was later released and signed with the New York Mets the following month and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in August, where he finished the season. Bautista batted .203 with a .727 OPS, 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 122 games split between the three teams.
He didn’t sign with a major-league team the following season.
“The market has changed a lot, especially for people my age,” Bautista said.
The outfielder says he is still training, but he feels at peace regardless of whether or not he gets back into the big leagues.
“I’ll be happy and I will accept whatever happens.”
Bautista has an MLB average of .247, with a .836 OPS and 344 home runs in 15 seasons, and was instrumental to the Blue Jays’ back-to-back ALCS appearances, delivering what was arguably the franchise’s most iconic moment with a bat flip after a go-ahead three-run shot in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Texas Rangers.