If Yoenis Cespedes doesn’t return to New York, the Mets might have an alternative lined up. The club has at least discussed signing Jose Bautista this offseason, according to James Wagner of The New York Times.
The Mets made Cespedes a qualifying offer, though it’s unclear whether he will accept it.
Bautista is one of the bigger names available this winter and could replace Cespedes’ power in New York’s lineup. Over 116 games with the Blue Jays in 2016, Bautista batted .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs.
Though Bautista has been plagued by injuries and might be a liability starting in the outfield every day, he would be a right-handed presence in a Mets lineup that features numerous left-handed bats.
Toronto made Bautista a qualifying offer, giving him a week to determine whether to return to the Blue Jays on a one-year deal. If he rejects it, the Mets would be forced to part with a draft pick should they sign him.
Boston and Houston are among the other clubs that could consider signing Bautista.