Jose Bautista

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Mets Sign Jose Bautista To 1-Year Deal

May 22, 2018 - 10:10 pm
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By WFAN.com

Joey Bats is a Met.

Two-time American League home run champ Jose Bautista signed a one-year contract with the Mets on Tuesday and started in left field in Tuesday night's 5-1 home loss to the Miami Marlins, going 1-for-3 with a double and run scored. Bautista, 37, was released by the Braves this past weekend. 

Earlier this decade, Bautista was one of the top sluggers in baseball. Playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, he clobbered 54 homers in 2010 and another 43 in 2011 --  both AL highs. For his career, the six-time All-Star has 333 home runs -- about two-thirds of which came from 2010-15. 

But in recent years, Bautista's play has declined. He batted a career-low .203 last season with Toronto, although he still hit 23 home runs. In 12 games with the Braves this season, he batted .143 with two home runs. 

Bautista signed for the $545,000 major league minimum. Mets general manager Alderson said the Bautista wasn't considered merely a short-term fix, and said Bautista was told he wouldn't be playing every day.

"This is something we felt we should try to do," Alderson said.

The Mets recently lost former Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares to a season-ending toe injury. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes is out with a strained right hip flexor, with no timetable for his return.

"The outfield position has been thin for us," Alderson said.

The Mets made room on the 25-man roster by optioning infielder Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas.

With reporting from The Associated Press.