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Jose Bautista open to one-year contract

The free agent slugger is willing to take a single-year pact, though is looking for a high average annual value.

MLB: ALCS-Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent slugger Jose Bautista is open to accepting a one-year contract, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Passan reports that Bautista would only be open to the short-term possibility if the offer was higher than the qualifying offer of $17.2 million.

Bautista’s market has been quiet so far this offseason, though he should see more suitors in the wake of former teammate Edwin Encarnacion signing a 3-year, $60 million deal with the Indians on Thursday night. He declined the qualifying offer from the Blue Jays at the beginning of the winter, and the team has reportedly declined to make him a higher offer since that point.

Bautista has been linked to many teams this winter, with the Rays and Dodgers among the remaining fits. A return to Toronto may be the most likely outcome for the 36-year old at this point, even though the Jays have already brought in veterans Steve Pearce and Kendrys Morales while declining to re-sign Encarnacion.

Many of Bautista’s potential suitors have dried up for a variety of reasons, with the Red Sox, Orioles, Mariners, Indians, Yankees and Astros among the clubs who appear unlikely to sign him. Bautista’s willingness to accept a 1-year pact will likely cause new suitors to jump into his market.