Mets Rumors: NY Interested in Jose Bautista After Release from Braves

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

Atlanta Braves' Jose Bautista watches his three-run home run off Chicago Cubs' Jose Quintana during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Chicago. Braves' Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers scored on the play. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

The New York Mets are reportedly interested in adding a veteran slugger to their lineup. 

On Monday, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported New York has demonstrated interest in Jose Bautista now that he is on the open market again following his release. The Atlanta Braves announced his release Sunday and noted Johan Camargo would be their everyday third baseman moving forward.

There was a time Bautista was one of the most feared offensive forces in all of baseball, but he struggled in 12 games for the Braves this season after posting lackluster numbers for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017.

He slashed just .143/.250/.343 with two long balls and five RBI in Atlanta before his release after slashing .203/.308/.366 with 23 home runs, 65 RBI and a WAR of minus-0.5 last year, per FanGraphs. It was a far cry from his prime when he was a six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger winner.

If nothing else, the 37-year-old could provide some power for a Mets team that is just 26th in the league in total home runs this season. Bautista drilled as many as 54 homers in 2010 and hit 40 long balls as recently as 2015 in the middle of Toronto's lineup.

Bautista could also provide depth and injury insurance at the hot corner considering Todd Frazier hasn't played since May 7 and was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

New York has been relying on Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes at third base with Frazier sidelined.

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