Well can you say "Deflect?"
José Bautista held a Press Conference at 1:30 today to discuss his reunion with the Blue Jays. The presser was brief and, maybe a little awkward to say the least. José's answers were short and exactly what you'd expect from an athlete of his caliber: full of clichés. Let's review the important points.
On Being Back:
José didn't fail to continuously mentioned that he always wanted to return to Toronto, and stated the feeling was "mutual" within the organization. But, what else was he going to say? I don't doubt that he always wanted to come back here, but I also believe that he's frustrated and slighted that it took this long to reach a deal. I can't blame him if this is the case, but his responses have always been guarded and short when it comes to interviews. That being said, he's a tough read.
On Other Offers:
This one is what I wanted to focus on, because I'm not buying it. When asked whether or not he received better offers elsewhere (assuming "better" means more money and term), he answered in the affirmative. But, as I mentioned, he was quick to drill into the point of really wanting to return to Toronto and that being here was his priority. Ummm..... really though?
The reason I find this a bit suspicious is because of the contract he was seeking around this time last year. Obviously if there was a team that was bat-shit crazy enough to offer this to him at the start of the off-season, we wouldn't be having this presser today (HOT TAKE!). Sure, I can believe that, ideally, Bautista wanted to return to Toronto because of his familiarity with the city. But let's not assume that this desire trumps (sorry, I squirm when I hear/read that word, too) a better deal in any other market. This is a business, after all.
On Playing Other Positions & Batting Lead-Off:
Just like last year, Bautista stated that he'd do whatever is asked of him by his manager that will put his team in a better position to win. He said that he's "always been open" to playing different positions and I assume this is limited to playing first, third, and the outfield. This, of course, depends on whether or not Justin Smoak isn't a total shit-show which........ Justin Smoak will probably be a total shit-show. But this is also assuming that Pearce doesn't take up the bulk of time at first, as well. I think the chances of Bautista playing first on a semi-regular basis are pretty slim. That's not to say it won't happen, but don't count on him having to platoon.
On Dan Duquette's Comments:
When asked about the whole "our fans don't like him remark from Orioles GM, Dan Duquette, Bautista pretty much shrugged it off and said "everybody is entitled to their opinion." Of course he's going to downplay the concern, but I'd hope that it sort of builds him up for those times that the Jays play the O's.
In short, the presser was pretty quick and exactly what you'd expect from Bautista, given the circumstances of his resigning. But hey! At least he's back and not playing for the fucking Red Sux or Indians.