Now that we're about a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting, it's time for those last remaining upmarket free agents to find homes. Sometimes that requires out-of-the-box thinking.
Consider Jose Bautista, whose name has recently surfaced in association with the Philadelphia Phillies and -- as of Tuesday afternoon -- the Minnesota Twins. Yes, really. Here's what Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported:
Coming off a 103-loss season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have spent much of the offseason evaluating the franchise and building out the baseball operations department. But the Twins have also met with several agents for position players throughout the winter, including the representative for outfielder Jose Bautista.
Bollinger notes that the level of interest on either side is unclear -- and it should be noted his piece is largely about a bold prediction, in which the Twins keep second baseman Brian Dozier and add Bautista.
All the same, the Twins' thinking probably resemble that of the Phillies -- it only makes sense to check in, given the potential that Bautista's price continues to drop. If the Twins (or Phillies) find Bautista's price to their liking at some point between now and whenever he agrees to a deal, they could sign him with an eye on trading him at the deadline.
Of course, you would think Bautista would be able to cut out the middle man and sign with a contender now. That doesn't seem to be the case, however. Blame it on Bautista's age and the required draft-pick compensation. Just don't blame the Twins, Phillies, or another team if they take advantage of the situation in pursuit of positive arbitrage.