“Joey Bats” could be on his way to Philadelphia – Ken Rosenthal took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to drop the news:
#Phillies have claimed #Mets’ Jose Bautista on revocable trade waivers, sources tell The Athletic. Teams discussing a deal, would need to complete it by tomorrow. Bautista slumped badly at start of August, but has .738 OPS in last 14 games.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 27, 2018
Let’s break down this possible acquisition, shall we?
Bad news: This is nowhere near the same Bautista that hit .302 with 43 homeruns and 103 RBIs (his 2011 numbers). This isn’t the same Bautista that hit .250 with 40 homers and 114 RBIs (His 2015 stats). From 2010 to 2015 he was one of the best hitters in baseball, unfortunately since then he really became a shell of what he once was.
I wouldn’t say acquiring Bautista is useless, it just left me scratching my head wondering why the Phillies would be interested in an aging slugger.
Good news: The claim isn’t official yet. Per Rosenthal, the Phillies have until August 28 to complete the claim. The Mets aren’t going to give Bautista away, but there’s no way Matt Klentak is going to forfeit even a mid-level prospect for a 37-year old player that’s slashing .199/.340/.368/.708 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs. I really liked Bautista during the above 6-year span but to trade any of the top 30 prospects for him would be foolish. So, bright side: he’s probably going to be cheap.
Also, Bautista brings another element of versatility to the lineup as he can start in the outfield or at the hot corner. Not to mention he walks a ton – something that this team really values. He’s walked 55 times this year which is more than Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco and Nick Williams.
Plus, with rosters expanding from 25 to 40 on September 1 his bat would be one more weapon for Gabe Kapler. Sure, Bautista isn’t the same player he was in 2013, but I’m sure Kapler can find a way to use him as a mismatch.
For what it’s worth he played third base for the Braves earlier this season, that could potentially come in handy during the last couple weeks of the season. It always helps to have an inside source, especially with the race for the NL East being so close.
If the Phillies can land Bautista for a player to be named later or cash this wouldn’t be a bad move, especially considering he will be played sparingly down the stretch. It doesn’t hurt to have a veteran bat at the ready – even if Bautista is old.