Jose Bautista wants to play for contender in 2019
Jose Bautista isn’t ready to call it quits just yet. The Phillies outfielder told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he still intends to suit up in 2019, and hopes to do so for a contending team. His contract is set to expire at the end of the regular season, at which point he’ll test free agency for the third time this year.
It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for the 37-year-old, however, and finding a home among the league’s top contenders may prove more difficult than expected. Bautista currently carries a cumulative .199/.340/.370 batting line, 12 home runs, and a .711 OPS through 385 plate appearances for the Braves, Mets, and Phillies, and while he’s found the most success in Philadelphia this year, he’s far removed from the 40+ homer, .250+ average slugger of days gone by.
That said, offense isn’t everything, and Rosenthal points out how valuable Bautista has been to NL East teams over the last few months, both in his defensive versatility and the mentorship he’s provided to younger players on the roster. This season alone, he’s seen games at first, second, and third base, as well as both outfield corners -- showcasing the kind of flexibility that may make him an intriguing addition to another major league roster next year.