José Bautista's time with the Atlanta Braves has come to an end, only 12 games after it began. On Sunday, the Braves released Bautista:
The Braves have released Jose Bautista. Anthopoulos says Camargo will be the everyday third baseman.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 20, 2018
Bautista had hit .143/.250/.343 (63 OPS+) in 40 plate appearances. He had also struck out 12 times. Three of his five knocks had gone for extra bases, but that evidently wasn't enough to impress the Braves. Atlanta will now turn to Johan Camargo (114 OPS+ in 76 plate appearances) as their most-days third baseman. Camargo, to his credit, hit .299/.331/.452 (105 OPS+) in 256 plate appearances in 2017.
While Camargo appears on the rise, Bautista could be at the end of the line. The 37-year-old has not been a productive hitter since 2016. He had trouble finding a job this spring, and wound up having to retake to third base in order to receive another shot at the majors.
If this is it for Bautista, it's the end of a career that featured a brilliant second half. Through his age-28 season, he had hit .238/.329/.400 with 59 home runs in 2,038 plate appearances. Afterward, he hit .254/.375/.515 with 274 home runs in 4,847 plate appearances.