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Tag:Jose Bautista
Posted on: February 25, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Imagining an MLB Combine

Michael Bourn

While our Eye on Football brethren are in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine not getting to watch guys run and jump, it got me to thinking how much fun an MLB Combine might be.

Among the drills the NFL draft hopefuls do that would be applicable to baseball are the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical leap and the Wonderlic Test. So who would be the best baseball players to participate? That's where the fun begins.

40-yard dash: Maybe for baseball, it'd be more fun to line the guys up and have them go 90 feet.

Favorite: Michael Bourn, Astros. A Sports Illustrated poll of players during spring training had Crawford picked as the fastest player in the majors, but the less-heralded Bourn finished second. Bourn has won two straight Gold Gloves in center, and much of it is because he can seemingly cover the entire outfield. In a division blessed with fast center fielders (Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs), Bourn covers more ground than anyone. Oh, and he's led the National League in stolen bases each of the last two seasons.

Others: Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, Luis Durango, Juan Pierre, Jose Reyes, Andrew McCutchen, Chone Figgins, Ichiro Suzuki, Emilio Bonifacio, Carlos Gomez, Carl Crawford

Adam DunnBench press: At the combine, players bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible, testing not only strength, but endurance. For baseball, maybe the best test would be a home-run derby-like format, but adding the distances of balls hit.

Favorite: Adam Dunn, White Sox. According to HitTrackerOnline.com, Jose Bautista had more "no-doubt" home runs than Dunn (19 to 16), but Dunn's homers averaged nearly 10 feet more, with an average "true distance" of 411.1 feet. Mark Reynolds' 32 homers averaged 415.6 feet, so he's certainly in the discussion. Dunn's been consistently hitting long home runs, so he gets the nod.

Others: Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mark Reynolds, Wily Mo Pena, Mike Stanton, Travis Hafner, Russell Branyan, Jose Bautista

Dexter FowlerVertical leap: While it's not something that you associate with baseball, it's a good test of athleticism, but is also practical at the wall as players just to rob home runs.

Favorite: Dexter Fowler, Rockies. At 6-foot-5, Fowler was recruited as a basketball player in high school, but he showed his leaping ability in an unusual place in the 2009 NLDS. In the eighth inning of Game 4, Fowler was on first when Todd Helton hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Fowler was running toward Utley and hurdled him. Utley then threw errantly to Jimmy Rollins and Fowler was safe. (You can see the play here.)

Others: Carl Crawford, Torii Hunter, Shane Victorino, Mike Cameron, Hunter Pence

Craig BreslowWonderlic test: A 12-minute, 50-question test used for testing applicants for learning and problem-solving. Harvard's Pat McInally is the only confirmed 50 score at the combine, while another Harvard alum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, scored either a 48 or 49 in nine minutes. So, it makes sense to look to the Ivy League for our baseball picks.

Favorite: Craig Breslow, Athletics. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Seriously. The Sporting News called him the smartest player in sports, while the Wall Street Journal suggested he may be the smartest man in the world. Not only that, batters hit just .194/.272/.348 against him last season, with lefties hitting .181/.245/.340 against him.

Others: Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Young, Fernando Perez, Mark DeRosa

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: February 22, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Blue Jays excited for season

CBSSports.com visited Blue Jays camp Tuesday and came away with plenty to talk about. 

First-year manager John Farrell speaks about his plans for the upcoming season:

Rajai Davis will bring speed to Toronto, which is in short supply. How will that affect the Jays' game?

Jose Bautista dishes on his new contract and the team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 12:23 am
 

Blue Jays ink Jose Bautista for five years

Bautista

The Blue Jays have agreed to a long-term deal with Jose Bautista, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

And when we say long-term, we mean long-term. The terms of the deal guarantee Bautista $65 million over five years through his age-35 season, with a club option bringing the potential total value to six years and $78 million.

Throwing the option aside. Bautista will earn an annual value of $10.8 million, which is staggering given Bautista has never made more than $2.4 million in his career and was in his final year of arbitration.

Bautista's case was rather tricky as his 54 home runs represented a career high, far and away over his previous high of 16, set all the way back in 2006. However, the 30-year-old bashed 10 home runs in September of 2009 after only three up to that date in what looked like a new approach at the plate. Sure, that 54 home runs looks all but impossible to repeat, but even settling around 30 home runs would provide a return on the deal.

That approach carried over to 2010, when he finished fourth in MVP balloting with an insane .260/.378/.617 line in 683 plate appearances. This after 2,038 plate appearances from 2004-09, split between five teams and a line of .238/.329/.400.

The righty will likely open the year as the club's starting third baseman, although he will likely transition back to the outfield once an acceptable replacement at third emerges and the logjam of outfielders is cleared out. Bautista has extensive (357 games) experience at third and has proven to be a lousy defender, while his outfield numbers are far more promising.

Is the deal a risk for Toronto? Absolutely. It's a lot to bank on what is essentially a one-year wonder, but GM Alex Anthopoulous has proven deserving of some rope after the brilliant moves he's made so far as GM. Clearly, AA believes Bautista's transformation is for real. If it is, Anthopoulous did a brilliant job of locking up Bautista before his price went up further and hitting free agency, which would only complicate matters.

But it could just as easily become one of the worst contracts in the game.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: February 16, 2011 10:03 am
 

Morning Pepper: Albertageddon is here

Albert Pujols
* Happy Albertageddon Day! The deadline for Pujols to sign an extension or report to spring training with extension talks tabled for the year is noon today. Sources tell CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller there's not much chance this thing gets done. The Cardinals may or may not have made Pujols an eight-year offer, depending on who you believe.

* There are only three arbitration-eligible players left: Jose Bautista, Rickie Weeks and Hunter Pence. The Twins and Delmon Young have settled on a one-year, $5.375 million deal, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That was a little below the midpoint between the two sides' arbitration filings. Bautista and Weeks have been reported as being in serious talks about multi-year deals, with Bautista's arbitration hearing having been delayed.

* The Nationals have designated for assignment right-hander Luis Atilano, who started 16 games for them last season. They needed roster room after Adam LaRoche's contract was finally made official.

* Frank McCourt tells the Los Angeles Times that fans shouldn't worry about his financial troubles. So feel free to let that go and worry about other things. Like the bullpen.

* Also in the Times, the story of how Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal helped get his Dominican hometown its first firetruck.

* Jeff Wilpon tells reporters that selling controlling interest in the Mets is "not on the table."

* Right-hander John Maine still doesn't have a job, but could end up in Philly.

* A Mets beat writer pretty much cheated in fulfilling a promise to cover spring training in a Speedo if Cliff Lee ended up in Philadelphia.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Jays, Bautista postpone arbitration hearing

Jose Bautista Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays were expected to go to arbitration today, but according a tweet by ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas, the sides have asked for it to be postponed until Friday.

The two sides are working on a multi-year extension and have made enough headway to ask for the postponement.

Bautista broke out in 2010, leading the majors with 54 home runs and a .260/.378/.617 line. He is one of five remaining arbitration-eligible players and asked for $10.5 million. The Blue Jays offered $7.6 million for 2011.

UPDATE: Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos confirms to MLB.com that arbitration meeting has been postponed.
"Our arbitration hearing with Jose Bautista has been postponed to allow further negotiation between the player and the club," Anthopoulos said. "As it is the Blue Jays policy not to discuss contract negotiations, I will not be making any further comments regarding Jose Bautista until an agreement is reached or the conclusion of the arbitration process."
Antopoulos didn't confirm the Friday reschedule date, but the fact that it's gotten this far, don't expect it to matter.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Category: MLB
Posted on: February 11, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Bautista sets extension deadline

Jose Bautista
Following in the footsteps of Albert Pujols, the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista now says that he, too, will not negotiate a contract extension after spring training starts.

Bautista, who led baseball with 54 homers last season, is headed for an arbitration hearing Monday. He's asking for $10.5 million for next season, with the Jays offering $7.6 million. He told the Toronto Sun that if the hearing passes without a long-term extension being worked out, he'll become a free agent after the season.

“I won’t be open to it after the hearing,” Bautista said Friday, following a workout at the Jays' spring training facility. “My desire is to play in Toronto long term but, after the hearing, or during the season, I have come to the conclusion that it’s probably not the best thing for me to be negotiating any type of deal. I want to focus on the game and trying to win ballgames.

“If I’m in that type of negotiation, it’s going to shift my focus from what I need to worry about and that’s baseball. I don’t want my mind to be elsewhere when I come to the ballpark to help my team win.”

The Jays are in a tough spot here, no question. Since Bautista's 2010 was so far and away the best he's ever been over any sustained period (his previous career high for homers was 16), it would be very scary to tie up long-term money with him. On the other hand, if he has another huge year, he gets way more expensive. If I'm the Jays, I probably wait it out and take my chances.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 9, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Bautista's arbitration date set

One of the more intriguing arbitration cases will take place next Monday in Phoenix, as Jose Bautista's case will be heard, FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes .

Bautista, who led baseball with 54 home runs in 2010, is asking for $10.5 million, while the Blue Jays have offered him $7.6 million. The two sides can still get a deal before the arbitration case begins, after that it's down to the decision of a three-person panel which will pick one side or the other.

The Eye on Baseball squad took a look at the two sides recently , and judge David Andriesen ruled in favor of the team.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Category: MLB
Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

While 119 players filed for salary arbitration, by the time it came down to exchange salary numbers on Tuesday, only 37 players submitted numbers -- and three of those already have agreements.

Of the 34 remaining cases, only a handful will make it to the arbitration hearings, scheduled to begin Feb. 1. Last year, only eight hearings took place. The reason is that neither side wants to go in front of the three-person panels, not as much for the fear of losing, but more because of the process.

Deals can be made up until the point the parties enter the room, but once there, it's one number or the other, there's no more compromise or negotiation.

Once that door closes, a front-office member who has told me, it can get pretty nasty and hurt the relationship between a team and a player for years to come. Here's the three pending cases that could get the most contentious in this process:

Josh Hamilton 1. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton has requested $12 million, while the Rangers have offered $8.7 million. No player, perhaps, in the history of the game has done more to make the case for both sides easier. Hamilton can point to his MVP and associated numbers, while the Rangers don't have to do too much digging to get into Hamilton's past and find some demons. They can even point to his recent five-day stay in the hospital for pneumonia as a concern that he can stay healthy considering his past drug use and his own admitted depleted immune system.

Jose Bautista 2. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- Bautista has requested $10.5 million, while the Blue Jays have offered $7.6 million. Ryan Howard's $10 million decision in 2008 is the record judgement in arbitration, but he already had an MVP under his belt and was coming off a fifth-place finish in the award the season he became eligible for arbitration. Bautista has nowhere near the same track record, breaking out in 2010. There have been questions about the methods he used to improve so drastically in one season, and they will certainly be brought up in a hearing.

Edinson Volquez 3. Edinson Volquez, Reds -- Volquez has requested $2 million, while the Reds have offered $1.3 million. The fact that the difference is so small makes it even less likely the Reds and Volquez go to arbitration -- and the fact that Volquez was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last season would make it more interesting than either side would like. The team publicly supported Volquez during his suspension (and coming off of Tommy John surgery, he didn't actually miss any time he would have played and actually ended up saving the Reds money because they didn't have to pay him during his suspension), but they may sing a different tune in an arbitration hearing.

Others to watch: Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez has asked for $10.25 million, while the Astros countered with $8 million. Rodriguez lost his hearing last season. The process has already gotten some teeth with the Brewers and second baseman Rickie Weeks, who has asked for $7.2 million, with the Brewers offering $4.85 million.

Update: Volquez and the Reds agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,625,000 on Monday, Jan. 31.

Rodriguez and the Astros reached an agreement on a $34 million, three-year contract on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





To see the full list of exchanged numbers, check out the CBSSports.com arbitration scoreboard .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com