How Blue Jays fans are feeling about the possible departure of Jose Bautista

How Blue Jays fans are feeling about the possible departure of Jose Bautista

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Jose Bautista’s now-legendary exploits during last year’s post-season have been celebrated on Christmas sweaters and in unfortunate tattoos. But this year, with Bautista already reminding the city how talented he is with a bat, fans face the unpleasant prospect of a future without their favourite Booster Juice–swilling hitter: his contract is up for renewal and he’s reportedly asking for a bigger chunk of money than the team’s ownership may be willing to part with. Before Friday’s home opener against the Red Sox, we asked fans how they feel about the possibility of seeing Jose go—and how much they think the team should pay to make him stay.

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Alan Davenport, 24, sales and marketing worker from Corso Italia
“Nobody is bigger than the team. If he can’t come to terms with what the club is looking for, there’s enough coming through the farm system.”

Would give Bautista: “Three years, $90 million.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Kevin Ashworth, 24, retail worker from Etobicoke
“I hope he doesn’t leave. But you never know, right?”

Would give Bautista: “Three years, $90 million.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Conor Nishimura, 24, media student from Etobicoke
“It is a business. What I think is going to happen is we’ll sign Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion might go via trade or free agency.”

Would give Bautista: “Maybe four years, something slightly under what he’s asking for.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Rivah Barsky, 49, TTC driver from Scarborough
“I hope he signs. He’s a leader, he’s a motivator. He’s good with the team, he’s good with the public. I hope we re-sign him because he’s a positive mentor for everybody.”

Would give Bautista: “$150 million.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Idan McIntosh, 28, youth worker from Etobicoke
“I don’t blame him for expecting a certain amount. He’s done a lot for this city. He’s been ride-or-die. We share the same birthday, actually. So we probably have a lot of the same mindset.”

Would give Bautista: “$20 million a year.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Angela Bhoopa, 19, student from Brampton
“Bautista has given us a lot the past few seasons. I wouldn’t be upset, but I hope he stays here. I hope for the best for him.”

Would give Bautista: “The money he deserves, because he’s taken a discount for us before.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Ramil Madarang, 37, sales employee from Mississauga
“His heart’s here, obviously, but money talks in this business. It’s always about money. Everybody’s replaceable.”

Would give Bautista: “I don’t think he’s worth what he’s asking for. I would do it as a performance-bonus-style contract.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Haley Penny and Annelies Erickson, both 15, high school students from the Bridle Path
Haley: “Jose Bautista is the best. He hits good. The bat flip was my favourite moment of the season.”

Would give Bautista: “I would definitely pay him what he wants.”

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