While the idea sounds fun in theory, a major roadblock prevents the Phillies from signing Jose Bautista
For years, Phillies fans have acquired a unique obsession with slugger Jose Bautista. Fueled by Howard Eskin’s outrageously false rumor years ago that the Phillies acquired Bautista for the failed prospect Dominic Brown, fans are clamoring for the Phillies to sign the veteran.
At first glance, it makes some sense. The Phillies have no reliable power hitter in their line-up, with Tommy Joseph, Maikel Franco, and Cameron Rupp needing to prove themselves a bit more. Bautista could even be trade bait, especially with him reportedly willing to sign a one-year deal.
But for a young, rebuilding franchise the opportunity to sign a player like Bautista is hard for team executives to swallow. While they’d love the seats to be filled all summer long with people buying $10 beer and cheesesteaks, a key factor jams the road towards signing Bautista.
This was the reason Jeremy Hellickson signed the qualifying offer the Phillies extended; no team would give up a first round pick for a mediocre starter. The same can be said as to why a team will not sign a 36-year-old free agent whose numbers were cut in half last season.
Amaro is gone for a reason. We learned to despise him; why would we want more of the same?
Ruben Amaro Jr. would (and had) signed an outfielder in his late-30s with a declining bat. Marlon Byrd was at-least hitting for average when RAJ signed him to a two-year deal worth $16 million.
Philadelphia will not compete for a division title, let alone a World Series, for another two or three seasons. In that time frame, a top-10 draft pick could already be playing/pitching in the major leagues, and have a greater impact than Bautista ever could for potentially 10-times the games.
Let us not forget, the Phillies have a myriad of outfielders not only in the majors, but in their farm system. Now is the time to evaluate Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr, with Odubel Herrera already being deemed the center fielder of the immediate future.
After Quinn and Altherr sit Dylan Cozens, Mickey Moniak, Nick Williams, Cornelius Randolph, Jhailyn Ortiz, Carlos Tocci, and Jose Pujols. All seven of those names sit in the top-25 prospects in a stacked farm system. There are only three outfield spots, and one has been claimed by Herrera.
Do not waste your time, energy, or money on Jose Bautista for a meer four-month fling. Save the draft pick, evaluate your talent, and focus on the road ahead.