'I'd be stupid to leave' Toronto - Bautista


Jose Bautista will be a free agent at the end of the season, but the Toronto Blue Jays slugger hopes to stay with the club that took a chance on him in 2008.

Bautista, who tabled extension talks that were rumoured to be in the five-year, $150million range, finished with an impressive 40 home runs and 114 RBIs last season and is on pace for 34 homers and 113 RBIs this season despite a .237 average. 

"I love the city," Bautista told Sports Illustrated. "I'd be stupid to leave."

Blue Jays fans will welcome Tuesday's comments with open arms but the 35-year-old slugger doubled down on what he said before the season about not giving the Jays a hometown discount.

"I will explore every single option, whether it happens or not with the new regime, to continue to try to stay here," Bautista said.

"That being said, I think teams utilise that a lot against players, [seeking] a discount or bargain price, and I think that's extremely unfair, especially to have your biggest contributors on the field and try to take advantage of the fact that they like it there and negotiate a tougher deal."

Bautista said in February that hometown discounts did not exist in his world and that he has already given the Jays one.

Bautista, who has hit above .300 only once in his career, is in the final year of a six-year, $78m contract and many have speculated that he or team-mate and fellow free agent at season's end Edwin Encarnacion would be sought-after replacements for designated hitter David Ortiz in Boston.