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January 04, 2017

The Blue Jays have already lost one half of the dynamic home run duo that helped propel them to back-to-back postseason appearances the last two years when Edwin Encarnacion joined the Indians on a three-year, $60 million deal last month. Bautista, meanwhile, is lingering on the free-agent market thanks to his age (36), injury history, draft pick compensation and rather sizable contract demands (multiple years and $100 million or more). That last issue, however, may no longer be an impediment: Bautista is reportedly now willing to accept a one-year pact.

If that’s the case, a return to Toronto is the most sensible move for both parties. The Jays need his power (22 home runs in 116 games last year) with Encarnacion gone, and a year of production and good health for the team that turned him into a star could only help Bautista land a long-term deal next winter in another bad free-agent market—and maybe give him a chance to launch another ludicrously great bat flip for the good fans of Toronto.

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