Bautista: I’d like to stay in Toronto for rest of my career

Posted: 01/04/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , ,

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The offseason negotiations between Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays may not have turned out the way the 36-year-old envisioned when he signed a one-year deal worth $18.5 million this past January, but it appears the Dominican doesn’t have any hard feelings about the outcome.

In fact, Bautista – who has played for the Blue Jays since 2008 – recently told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale he wants to spend the remainder of his career in Toronto.

“If you ask me, I’d like to stay here the rest of my career,” Bautista said. “You grow to love a place, and build relationships over time, and that’s hard to walk away from.

“I don’t think you can just leave for less. If you are going to switch teams, it has to be for a tangible added benefit. You don’t say I’m going to walk away from anywhere just for a couple more bucks.

“Really, this is where I want to be as long as they’ll have me.

“At the end of the day, you play only where you are wanted.”

Bautista, a six-time All-Star, is an incredibly popular sports figurehead in Toronto who has made headlines for his baseball ability, as well as penchant for dramatic moments such as his epic bat flip in the 2015 playoffs, as well as being on the receiving end of a Rougned Odor punch to the face last season.

At times throughout the offseason, it appeared like Bautista may not return to the Blue Jays, which was a thought he had creeping through his mind the second his season ended last year.

“It was emotional after the last out. It was emotional in the dugout. It was emotional saying goodbye to everybody. It was emotional my last night in the city. Packing. Driving. Everything,” he said.

“I mean, we’re human, just because we’re athletes and do this for a living, doesn’t mean we’re immune to feelings, you know. To say I didn’t think I wouldn’t be back in Toronto, I’d be lying. It was always my desire to come back, but to be honest, there were so many times during the winter when I didn’t think it was going to be possible.”

Bautista is among the all-time leaders in Blue Jays history in a number of categories including home runs, RBIs, hits, and plate appearances.

He owns a lifetime slash line of .261/.382/.528 with 265 home runs and 701 RBIs in a Toronto uniform.

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