Jose Bautista stayed on the open market until mid-April this year, after which he finally signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves.
He debuted with the Braves in the beginning of May, and overall made 12 appearances with them before being cut on May 20. In 40 plate appearances with Atlanta, Bautista hit just .143/.250/.343 with two homers and five RBI.
Upon his release, the Mets wasted no time picking him up, signing him to a deal on May 22. He debuted for the Mets that night and hit a double in his first at-bat and later drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Overall, Bautista has appeared in 36 games for New York and has hit .250/.418/.476 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 110 plate appearances.
Bautista has also reached base safely in each of his last 15 games dating to June 15 (.466 OBP in that time). He has three homers and six RBI over his last eight contests. Bautista is hitting .343 (12-for-35) with five doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored over his last 13 games. He has drawn 15 base-on-balls in his last 15 games and 24 walks in 35 games with the Mets since May 22.
In the field, he has also been solid on defense, playing mostly right and left field, logging one defensive run saved. He has also logged 0.7 WAR in general on the season thus far.
For Bautista, he has been a welcome addition to the Mets. A majority of their offseason acquisitions have been flops for New York thus far.
Jay Bruce signed a three-year deal to come back to New York, but was plagued with plantar fasciitis all season and then landed on the disabled list last month with hip problems.
Jose Reyes has struggled mightily all season, and Todd Frazier has had a tough time getting it going after a hot start. Adrian Gonzalez, the Mets other offensive signing this winter, is no longer with the team after being released last month.
Bautista has filled in nicely in the outfield and has received ample playing time since Bruce has been hurt as well as Yoenis Cespedes, who currently has no timetable for a return.
The 37-year-old was arguably released by the Braves too prematurely and has found his footing with the Mets.
In a season where pretty much everything has gone wrong, it’s been nice to see a player come over here and perform and give the fans something to chatter about.
While he may not be the big home run hitter he was in Toronto, Joey Bats is still contributing to the Mets both offensively and defensively.
He will return to Toronto for the first time since last year, his final season with the Blue Jays. It’s likely to be an emotional moment for the slugger, but hopefully he can continue his hot season by torturing them offensively.