The Fightin’ Phils, eyeing a postseason run, are actively pursing a trade for Jose Bautista.
The New York Mets are working on a deal that could send the veteran outfielder to Philadelpia. Bautista was placed on revocable waivers on Monday, and the two clubs have until Tuesday to get a deal done.
Bautista would be on the move for the third time this year already, having played with Atlanta to start the season. He spent parts of nine seasons with Toronto before becoming a free agent last winter, where he signed with the Braves. He was released on May 20, and signed with New York just two days later as a free agent.
In 94 games this year, Bautista has played below average baseball. He has posted a .199 average while slugging a measly .368. He has never hit below .200 in his 15-year career, but is on pace to do so for the first time. His lack of production at the plate correlates with his increasing age; Bautista will turn 38 this year. In addition, his defensive WAR is also below zero (-0.3).
For the Mets, they are seeking anything that could help the rebuilding process. Bautista would be unlikely to re-sign with the club this offseason, and the Mets don’t seem to have any reason to hold onto him.
For the Phillies, Bautista adds a veteran presence to a club that has owed its success to young talent such as Rhys Hoskins, Mikael Franco and Odubel Herrera. He isn’t the best hitter, but he adds some right-handed power off the bench. With the Phillies looking to make a postseason run, a veteran piece like Joey Bats makes sense.
For players to be postseason eligible, they must be on a team’s roster by Sept. 1. It likely that we will see more clubs place players like Bautista on waivers until that date.