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AP: Jose Bautista Agrees To Five-Year, $65 Million Deal

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A source tells the AP that Jose Bautista has agreed to a $65 million deal with the Blue Jays. (EDIT: Although I think Enrique Rojas probably reported this first.) What a weird ride it's been for Bautista. $65 million seems like an insane amount of money on the surface, but $13 million a year could end up being a very reasonable price. There's certainly the possibility that Bautista will follow the Brady Anderson career path and decline precipitously, but as Bucdaddy pointed out once in the comments, whatever happened to Bautista last year wasn't purely a one-year thing. In 2009, after tweaking his swing throughout the summer, he had all of five homers before September 15, at which point he went berzerk and hit eight in three weeks, including six in his last eight games. We know he made some mechanical adjustments, and it looks like everything just clicked. It also looks like Toronto is a great place for him - he slugged a ridiculous .737 at home last season. If I were the Blue Jays, committing $65 million to someone with such a spotty history would worry me, but this could turn out to be a terrific gamble. He's not likely to hit 54 homers again, obviously, but if there's a real problem, it will probably have to do with his ability to hit for average rather than with his power. He can miss his 2010 marks by a large margin over the next five seasons and still be well worth $13 million a year. (Or $14 million, if you consider that the Jays would have paid Bautista about $9 million this year in arbitration.) I initially thought the Jays had committed too many years, but it's hard to see how they could have signed him long-term for much cheaper - his season last year was just absurdly good, and keeping someone who hits that many homers is going to take serious money.

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