We're still waiting on former Blue Jays Joey Bats to choose his next stomping grounds, but it's likely to be a short-term deal given his age and productivity at this point in his career.
Nonetheless, Bautista will be an asset to whichever team acquires him, either as a significant power addition to the lineup, or as en eventual trade chip for a rebuilding team.
If Bautista gets his wish, it will surprisingly be the latter.
After trading Corey Dickerson the Rays do have an opening in their outfield, and Bautista is likely to come relatively cheap given the state of the free agent market.
Despite a dipping average and OBP, the power is clearly still a factor with Bautista, as he had 23 homers last season, which was good for fourth on his team.
I'm hearing Jose Bautista has some interest in playing for the #Rays. He spends a lot of his offseason in the Tampa Bay, so being closer to home make sense. The question is how much of a pay cut is he willing to take. I doubt the Rays pay him $17 million to DH or play OF at 37. pic.twitter.com/nSBJJ0jzad— Matthew Long (@mattlongsports) February 25, 2018
In Tampa, he could serve as an attendance booster, at least at the beginning of the season. And if the Rays fall out of contention early, they could flip the aging outfielder at the deadline for some prospects.
It's a win-win for both sides.