Jose Bautista signs minor league deal with Braves
Ex-Blue Jays right-fielder/3rd baseman reportedly will return to hot corner in Atlanta
Former Toronto Blue Jay and six-time all-star Jose Bautista and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a minor league contract on Wednesday
Under the deal, Bautista would receive a $1 million US, one-year deal if added to the 40-man major league roster. He will report to the Braves extended spring training complex in Lake Buena Vista, FlA., to work himself into game condition while playing third base.
The Atlanta <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Braves?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Braves</a> today agreed to terms with free agent infielder José Bautista on a one-year minor-league contract for the 2018 season, and he has reported to Atlanta’s extended spring training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He will play third base.—@Braves
The 37-year-old Bautista, who spent 10 seasons with the Blue Jays, earned $18 million under a one-year deal with Toronto last season and became a free agent. He went unsigned over the winter after batting .203 with 23 homers and 63 RBIs.
Bautista has hit at least 22 homers the last eight seasons, including a career-best 54 for the Blue Jays in 2010. He has four seasons with at least 100 RBIs, though his production dipped significantly the last two years.
Still, the signing is a low-risk move by the Braves to bolster their lineup, which currently has Ryan Flaherty at third base. Flaherty is off to a surprising start, hitting an NL-leading .354 through 14 games, but his career average is .221.