The Boston Red Sox came up short in the 2016 MLB season. Having a winning record of 93-69, they lead the American League East last season but was eventually booted out by American League Champion Cleveland Indians in the Division Series by a sweep.
Now, the latest MLB trade rumors are spreading that they are interested in acquiring Jose Bautista from the Toronto Blue Jays to fill in the void in the DH spot that was vacated by David Ortiz. Ortiz, who played for the Red Sox for 14 years, decides to retire after 19 years playing in the league. Reports are now saying that they are targeting Bautista as a replacement for Ortiz.
Earlier reports have cited that the Red Sox are also interested on Bautista's Blue Jays teammate Edwin Encarnacion. However, it seems that Encarnacion is seeking a long-term, lucrative contract which the Red Sox can't afford to give. And now, they are turning their heads to Bautista who is a capable player like Encarnacion.
According to BoSox Injection, a Boston Red Sox executive was allegedly met with Jose Bautista's agent during a meeting in Arizona. Though reports are saying that the executive and Bautista's agent was just catching up as old friends, many believed that the encounter was not an accident, signifying that the two parties are discussing the potential transfer of Bautista to the Red Sox.
If the talks to acquire Encarnacion did not pan out, Boston might realize that a player like Bautista has more value than him. The six-time All-Star is known to be not committed to long-term transactions and won't be as costly as the other players in the trade market. The 36-year old slugger has .234 averages, 22 home runs, 69 RBI and a .366 OBP last season.
In a separate report by ChattSportsNet, aside from the Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves have also shown interest in getting Bautista in free agency. Though many fans are still expecting that Bautista will re-sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, a surprising move might happen that will bring him to the Braves for next year.
However, the Braves are not aggressively looking to acquire Bautista as they plenty of outfielder in the lineup and don't need a "designated hitter" as of this moment as per stated in the report. There is also a hesitation on the team that Bautista might ask for a higher salary and he may not fit the Braves system.
Will the Boston Red Sox be able to acquire MLB star Jose Bautista from the Toronto Blue Jays?