Jose Bautista: “I consider our team a contender. We should be in the playoffs at least. Hopefully in the World Series.”November 19, 2012 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce
The Toronto Blue Jays are turning the baseball world upside down with their recent activity on the hot stove this winter. After losing manager John Farrell to the Boston Red Sox, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was taking a ton of heat north of the border for not putting up a fight for his team or organization in general to keep his manager under contract. Well Anthopoulos is having the last laugh now or shall I say he’s shutting up all his doubters.
In the span of 4 days the Blue Jays are on the verge of acquiring Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Melky Cabrera through trades and signings. Let’s remember World Series aren’t won in the offseason, but the Blue Jays GM has stepped up to the plate and All-Star right-fielder Jose Bautista couldn’t be any happier once these deals become official.
Jose Bautista joined Fox Sports Radio on Fox Sports Tonight with Rob and Amy to discuss his excitement for spring training now that the Toronto Blue Jays have added Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Melky Cabrera, the Blue Jays signing Melky Cabrera, Melky Cabrera bringing some off the field distractions for the Blue Jays, the Blue Jays surpassing the Yankees/Red Sox in the AL East and a possible guarantee that the Blue Jays will be in the playoffs.
After the Marlins-Blue Jays trade was announced you tweeted how happy you were. Is this the most excited you’ve been in your Major League career heading into spring training?
“Well I don’t even have word on the trade being official, so I am going to treat it still as a pending trade or a proposed trade. Just like anyone else I reacted looking at the rumors on twitter and the internet and on TV. But if it comes through and it is what it is that has been talked about, it’s going to be fun. I know there is a talented group of guys that is going to come together if that deal goes through. Our confidence level is going to be through the roof. I think we are going to play along together great. It just so happened that it’s a bunch of guys from the Dominican Republic that is going to make our team that much stronger and united. Not only that, it’s a great group of guys. People that come together from great families and I think we are going to do just fine if that deal comes through. It’s going to be a game changer for the organization. “
Talk about the potential signing of Melky Cabrera? How does he fit into the team?
“I feel very good. Of course he’s another great player regardless of what has happened in the past. He’s one of the best hitters in the game and he’s proven it in the last three or four years. I’m excited to have him. He’s a great addition to have not only the offense, but from the defense and base running as well. He’s been around the league, so he’s a veteran presence, but he’s not too old, so he’s going to bring a lot of energy to our ball club. He can hit in the top of the lineup and steal some bases, so he’s going to make our team more solid 1-9. He’s someone I’m really excited to play alongside.”
Do you feel Melky Cabrera could be an off the field distractions based on all the questions you may have to answer?
“I don’t think so, but even if he was a bit of a distraction I think what he is going to be able to contribute on the field is going to outweigh that. He was man enough to admit that he was wrong with what he did and he accepted his suspension and he paid his dues, so those are the rules we are playing by nowadays and he’s been through the program, so I don’t hold anything against him. Different people do different things. I can’t say I would have done the same thing, but he certainly has done whatever was required of him to be forgiven and I am ready for him to play especially after his signing, whenever it becomes official.”
If all the trades and signings go through is this the time to get the Yankees and Red Sox? Do you feel this is Toronto’s time?
“I think so, but nothing against those other teams. I feel like it is our time because we just became that much better. I’m not a concentrator of the weaknesses of any other club. I think just because we are that much better of a team I think we are gonna give it a run. I think it’s safe to say that I consider our team a contender.”
Will you guarantee that the Toronto Blue Jays will be in the playoffs next season?
“[Laughs] I would love to, but unfortunately nowadays it’s hard to get a guarantee in anything in life, but I think we have a pretty good shot. I like our chances. If I were to say any team that I played on has a chance to make it to the playoffs for the World Series it is going to be this team, so I am really excited about that. Hopefully with a lot of health and guys doing what they are capable of doing we should be in the playoffs at least. Hopefully in the World Series and hopefully be world champions.”