Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Jose Bautista, 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Starting Point #SP91
That the wayward Orioles of the 2000s managed to snatch up Jose Bautista from Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 draft, only to lose him on waivers to Tampa Bay after a dozen plate appearances, is a joke that writes itself. But even I can't beat up on the Birds too badly for that one. As has been well documented, "Joey Bats" was passed around like currency in his 2004 rookie year, going on to play a dozen games with the Devil Rays before being sold to the Royals, for whom he appeared in 13 games...and then he changed teams twice on July 30 alone . KC traded Jose to the Mets, who turned around and swapped him to the Pirates in the Kris Benson deal, bringing him full-circle in seven and a half months. Even then, Bautista was a mediocre player throughout his time in Pittsburgh, and still didn't crack a 100 OPS+ in 2009, his first full season in Toronto. So what are the odds that Bautista was going to break out at age 29, after 575 so-so games in parts of six big league seasons? It doesn't serve as much more than an annoying little glimpse into an alternate reality.