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Jose Bautista is a fun Giants rumor that doesn’t make sense

Home runs from an outfielder? Sure! But there’s a catch ...

Toronto Blue Jays v San Francisco Giants

I love watching Jose Bautista at his best. He’s an all-or-nothing master of the three true outcomes, the kind of low-average, high-power hitter that scares the bejeepers out of all pitchers. Come to think of it, he’s the exact opposite of nearly every Giants hitter over the last couple years. Maybe that explains my personal fascination.

He also plays the outfield, and the Giants are looking for an outfielder. Say, this looks like a potential match. From Nick Cafardo’s column on Sunday:

The Red Sox are a potential landing spot. Bautista loves Boston, loves Fenway, hits well there (.972 career OPS), and has strong relationships with John Farrell and Brian Butterfield from their Toronto days. Also on the radar are Texas, Houston, Baltimore, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Atlanta.

The Giants are on the radar like so much raspberry jam. Any outfielder with power will be attached to the Giants until they all sign. That goes for everyone from Bautista to Matt Holliday.

Report: Giants interested in Jarrett Parker

But they already have him.

Then the report is technically correct, dummy

Oh, the offseason is getting so feisty. But Bautista has the kind of power the Giants haven’t had since Barry Bonds, so he makes sense. If you’re careful about what you omit, this is a sentence that would pique your interest: Jose Bautista is an outfielder with tremendous power.

However, it’s possible to get better truth in advertising, here. Let’s try some sentences that are more detailed.

Jose Bautista is a 36-year-old outfielder looking for a multi-year deal

In the last 100 years, there have been 18 outfielders who have had multiple seasons worth more than 3 WAR after turning 36. Just four of them have come since 2000. Now, those four were Barry Bonds, Moises Alou, Kenny Lofton, and Steve Finley, so it’s possible that being the type of person who would consider playing with the Giants augers well for post-36 excellence. But it’s far more likely for an old-timer to disintegrate completely than it is for him to put up more than one good season.

Whichever team pays Bautista will be paying for more than one good season.

Jose Bautista is coming off his worst season in years

His .234/.366/.452 line was his worst since transforming into Super Bautista in 2010. It’s a blip when you’re 30. It’s a red flag when you’re 35.

Plus, there are signs that he’s not that hard to pitch to at the moment:

It’s out of this meeting that the scouting report against Jose Bautista was born. The scouting report against Bautista went like this: a steady diet of breaking balls, and nothing on the inner-half.

It worked, and he looked awful in the ALCS. This probably isn’t going to change next year.

Jose Bautista is a designated hitter, not an outfielder

He used to be a fine outfielder with a marvelous arm. But shoulder surgery and age has sapped his defensive talents and made him a liability, especially for a National League team.

For a year? I could see a team like the Giants getting away with it. They’ve won the World Series with Pat Burrell playing left, much less Travis Ishikawa, so it’s not the highest bar to clear. When it really starts to turn, though, it will turn quickly. There’s a fine line between “I can live with this” and completely untenable, and it’s only a matter of time until the latter wins.

Jose Bautista will be expensive, and he’ll also cost the Giants their first-round pick in 2017

If we’re talking a one year, $9 million deal, then perhaps it would make all the sense in the world to see if Bautista can be the slugger the Giants are looking for, defense be damned. But he’ll get $50 million or more from a team that won’t mind him sliding over to DH at some point.

It’s hard to see the Giants matching that kind of pursuit. And while I don’t think the Giants are thinking with a pick-first mentality, it’s certainly something they want to consider.

Jose Bautista hits for a lot of power, a skill the Giants are sorely lacking

This is also a good point, and waaaaaaaait a minute. These are supposed to be pieces of evidence against Bautista on the Giants.

It would be fun for a season, at least. I like to have fun, do you?

Listen, the defense is even worse than you remember. His throws make Denard Span’s throws seem like they came from Ichiro in his prime. Maybe the shoulder is healthy, which allows him to play better defense and improve his swing.

The Giants are desperate for power, but it’s hard to see them paying $40 million or more for it, especially when it’s coming in an over-35 package. Next year would be a pip, but it’s the ones after that that worry me, at least when it comes to the bat. And it’s the glove that would worry me the whole danged time.

It’s a fun rumor, though. It’s not going away, so at least it’s fun. The Giants are “on the radar” for an outfielder with power because of course they are. They should be. This one, though, doesn’t make a lot of sense. For the price, there’s no question that Matt Holliday would be the better value, and now you’re down a particularly disturbing rabbit hole.

I rate the rumor a solid 7/10, but the likelihood of it happening just a 3/10. Fun. But scary and not going to happen.