Bautista receives emotional farewell from Blue Jays fans
It is never easy saying goodbye, but the Toronto Blue Jays gave Jose Bautista a send-off to remember after a 9-5 win over the New York Yankees.
Bautista, who played this season on a one-year, $18million contract, is not expected to have his $17m option picked up for 2018.
But the 36-year-old slugger will not leave the Blue Jays - whom he joined from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 - with bad memories after fans gave him a standing ovation on Sunday, showering him with cheers for his last home game in Toronto.
Bautista - a six-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger and two-time MLB home run champion during his time with the Blue Jays - had showed signs of regression during the last two seasons after tallying 40 home runs with 114 RBIs in 2015.
Your right fielder, No. 19, José Bautista. pic.twitter.com/gzsNOdkW6G-- Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 24, 2017
It was in 2015 when Bautista provided arguably the highlight of his career and became a symbol of Toronto's first playoff appearance in 22 years after his bat flip against the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series (ALCS) sent the Blue Jays through to the AL Championship Series.
Marcus Stroman, who started Sunday's game for the Blue Jays, made sure Bautista knew he would always be at home in Toronto.
You're not the only one wearing one of these today. pic.twitter.com/nzSGuoaBNK-- Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 24, 2017