In what was likely his final home game in Toronto, Jose Bautista and Blue Jays fans shared a special moment on Sunday. After going 2-for-4 with an RBI, Bautista was substituted out of the game with one out in the ninth inning.
Here's how it unfolded in the Jays' 9-5 win against the Yankees:
Bautista signed a one-year, $18 million deal last offseason with a $17 million mutual option for 2018. The Blue Jays are all but certain to decline their half of the option. The contract was a massive departure from the $150-plus million extension he reportedly sought after his 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 36-year-old's numbers declined from there.
In 267 games played between this season and last, Bautista's hitting .216 with 44 home runs and 131 RBIs.
It's not impossible to envision Bautista playing for Toronto in 2018, but it's certainly not likely. If these really are his final games as a Blue Jay, he treated Toronto fans to three 40-plus home run seasons, four top 10 MVP campaigns, six All-Star appearances, and helped the franchise reach its first postseason in 23 years.
Oh, and one memorable bat flip.
Well done, Joey Bats.