In late February, the baseball world was in a frenzy because of the reported "negotiations" between Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays. He wanted "Barry Bonds money" but Toronto was understandably skeptical of offering a 35 (and soon to be 36) year old outfielder a contract for five years north of $150 million.
Bautista seemingly didn't want to negotiate, and told reporters that the Blue Jays could "either meet [his offer] or it is what it is." Since then, the very public battle between the two sides died down, and it appeared as if Toronto was just going to let Bautista walk into free agency; however today that changed.
jays believed willing to go 3 yrs (at $20M plus) for bautista (no confirm of official offer). he sought at least 5 for 150M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 26, 2016
While this is indeed a development in the negotiations process, it's fair to wonder if this is even a real offer. That's not to imply that Heyman is reporting bogus or made up news, but rather that Toronto's offer may just be for show. If Bautista was truly dead-set on his contract stipulations, then for the Blue Jays' front office to put out that they're willing to go to three years and $60+ million might be to convey to fans that they haven't given up.
He's one of the most popular players in Toronto's organization, and after his bat flip in the 2015 ALDS, he's become a legend across Canada. He may as well have swung a bat with a maple leaf on it and downed a shot of syrup as he rounded the bases just for good measure.
At this time, it's unclear if this news has made its way to Bautista, but considering how the last round of negotiations played out, it seems likely that he's at the very least aware of this recent development.
This story will be updated once more information is made available.