MLB Breaking News: Bautista, Blue Jays, Close to 5-Year, $65MM Extension

Bruce JonesContributor IIFebruary 16, 2011

TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays shakes hands with third base coach Ron Butterfield #55 after hitting his 50th home run of the season against the Seattle Mariners on September 23, 2010 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 1-0. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

Enrique Rojas (ESPN Deportes baseball newsbreaker extraordinaire) has reported that Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays are closing in on a 5 year, $65 million extension that will keep the Major League Baseball home run champ in Toronto through 2015.

It's more than worth it.

As I posted almost a month ago, even if Bautista undergoes a Brady Anderson-like decline, he'd still be worth $13 million a season.

People know Jose Bautista broke out big time in 2010, but the full extent of his gargantuan season sometimes gets lost—he was a 6.9 WAR player. That's worth $27.8 million according to Fangraphs. It wasn't just a historic season as far as breakouts go, it was a historic batting season period and Bautista's .357 Isolated Power can attest to that. 

A 167 wRC+ and .422 wOBA... incredible statistics for any player in era.

Even if Bautista continues his world-beating, home run smashing ways for just three season and then falls off the face of the Earth, this contract will be more than justified. 

And as much as chemistry in baseball is largely over-hyped, Bautista's positive presence in the locker room and no-nonsense demeanor on the field (highlighted by that signature stare he gave to any pitcher while rounding first during a home run trot) are undeniably important to both the young nucleus of the Blue Jays and the fair-weather baseball fandom that is Toronto.

Casual Jays fans want Rogers to spend the money, so here they go. One of the best players in baseball has been guaranteed a spot in Toronto for the next half-decade, time to fill the dome again.

This article, and others like it, is also available at http://bttn.blogspot.com/ , a new Toronto sports site that particularly includes lots of Blue Jays and Raptors content.