- Vaughn Ridley/Getty
Jose Bautista is one of the top hitters on the free agent market in baseball, but apparently, the Baltimore Orioles are willing to pass on him.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Orioles met with Bautista but neglected to offer him a deal.
Aside from not wanting to give up a compensatory draft pick to sign him, the Orioles fans apparently don’t like him.
Orioles prefer to keep draft, too, but to explain why Bautista doesn’t fit, they told JB camp: O’s fans just don’t like him
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2016
As SB Nation notes, Bautista played with the Blue Jays against the Orioles in the AL East for the last nine years. There’s also a bit of bad blood between the two teams, as Bautista once got in a shouting match with center fielder Adam Jones over a pitch, and then later called out Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Bautista: “I think it’s all planned out & premeditated. I think they hide behind the way their manager acts & conducts himself on the field”
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) April 22, 2015
Understandably, those incidents may not endear him to fans.
However, over his nine years with the Blue Jays, Bautista batted .261, with a .528 SLG and .910 OPS to go with 265 home runs and 701 RBIs. That’d be a valuable bat for the Orioles to have. If fans had this much of an impact on all teams’ transactions, many franchises would look considerably different.