The Baltimore Orioles fans may not like Jose Bautista, but if the Orioles sign him, he will be a great fit for the organization.
During last December’s winter meetings, Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette told reporters the team was not interested in signing Jose Bautista the free agent slugger because the Orioles fans do not like him.
However, that statement may not have been completely true. The free agent slugger has not signed with any team thus far and it is likely he can be signed for much less than he was originally holding out for so it would be a bad move if the Orioles did not try to sign him.
The odds are extremely high that the first time Bautista steps to the plate and rocks a monstrous home run then flips the bat, the Baltimore fans would become enamored with the slugger.
Baltimore could use a proven designated hitter and Bautista is just that. The Orioles depth chart at DH consists of Joey Rickard or Trey Mancini. With Bautista, the Orioles could use him in the outfield and at DH while switching in other players.
It appears the Orioles will use Adam Jones to lead off, but he is not the best choice. He does not walk often, he hit only .265 last season and his OBP for his career is just .318.
His power is good so moving him lower in the order would be the best move for the team. That is where Bautista comes in. He led the American League in walks during 2011 and 2015 and his OBP is .387 over the past seven seasons.
He would do well as the leadoff hitter and make life easier for Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones who would follow him in the order.
With an adjustment or two, the Orioles could have a 3-4-5 combo of Machado, Davis and Jones, which would produce a number of runs and make work difficult for opposing pitchers.
Of course, there is also word that Toronto is negotiating with Bautista to re-sign him since they lost their best slugger Edwin Encarnacion who left as a free agent and signed for the Cleveland Indians.
The Blue Jays need to re-sign Bautista since their potent offense of last season will be missing two of its top run producers if Bautista is to sign with Baltimore or any other team besides Toronto.