"I think it's unfortunate to me that I have to drag this out now like I'm on trial. I guess I'll have to be more careful what I say," Bautista said.
• After initial shock, Tulo excited to join Blue Jays
The right fielder's comments regarding whether the Blue Jays were a better team in landing Tulowitzki led to broadcast reports that he was questioning the move and whether the trade was necessary, considering the team's already-potent offense and its pitching deficiencies.
"If you want to look at it as a pure baseball move, I think there's upgrades in different areas, maybe not necessarily what we need, but it's an upgrade, if you want to look at it that way," Bautista said Tuesday during a long session with the media.
Bautista and many other Blue Jays were disappointed to say goodbye to Reyes, who'd become a linchpin in the clubhouse and a fan-favourite for his positivity and fun-loving attitude. But that disappointment doesn't mean Bautista was opposed to the trade.
"I'm extremely excited to play alongside Tulowitzki. If anyone thinks I'm not, they're a fool," Bautista said. "If I have to jump so high to make that point, that's unfair."
It's not the first time in recent history that general manager Alex Anthopoulos has opted to upgrade a positional strength instead of addressing a pitching staff that could use an upgrade. The club signed Russell Martin in the offseason, when it already had a capable No. 1 in Dioner Navarro. In another offseason move, the Blue Jays dealt promising third baseman Brett Lawrie in a package deal to the A's for All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.