Pirates trade Jose Bautista to Toronto
Four years after he took a winding road back to the Pirates, third baseman Jose Bautista has been cut loose for good.
The Pirates today traded Bautista to the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor player to be named later. The deal will be completed in the offseason.
“Given our recent acquisitions and our projected roster moving forward, this was the logical move,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We’ve given Jose a fresh start.”
Bautista, 27, was in the Pirates’ past two opening day lineups. However, he fell out of favor with the new management group and his playing time was cut dramatically as this season went on.
Bautista played in 107 games this season and batted .242 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI. Last week, he was abruptly optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Huntington said Bautista did not request a trade after his demotion.
The move creates a vacancy on the Pirates’ 40-man roster. It may be filled by a prospect, such as outfielder Andrew McCutchen or third baseman Neil Walker.
“It’s too early to speculate how we will fill that spot,” Huntington said.
Major league active rosters will expand Sept. 1. However, only players who are on the 40-man roster are eligible for a call-up.
The Pirates drafted Bautista in the 20th round in June 2000, but he did not sign with the team until nearly a year later. Bautista was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2003 Rule 5 draft.
Between April and the end of July 2004, Bautista had been cut by Baltimore, claimed by Tampa Bay, traded to Kansas City and dealt to the New York Mets. The Pirates re-acquired Bautista July 30, 2004, as part of the deal that sent pitcher Kris Benson to the Mets.