Orioles GM: Bautista is too unpopular in Baltimore to sign

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista, right, in action against the Baltimore Orioles. (Chris Young/CP)

TORONTO — The Baltimore Orioles aren’t likely to sign free agent slugger Jose Bautista because he rubs the Camden Yards faithful the wrong way, according to the team’s general manager.

“I told the agent, ‘We’re not interested. Our fans do not like your player,”‘ Dan Duquette told Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Wednesday.

While Bautista has been the face of the Blue Jays, belting 265 homers over nine seasons in Toronto, he has also been cast as the villain in some of the Jays’ rivalries.

Most notably, Bautista’s bat flip after hitting the game-winning home run of Toronto’s 2015 American League Division Series matchup with Texas rankled the Rangers. He was rewarded with belt to the chops from Rangers second-baseman Rougned Odor, after a hard Bautista slide into second, in a 2016 regular-season meeting between the teams.

Bautista has also been at the centre of several heated exchanges between division rivals Toronto and Baltimore over the last two seasons.

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