DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right fielder Jose Bautista is ready and willing to sign a contract extension with the Blue Jays, but only if the organization is willing to meet his demands on a lucrative multiyear deal.
Bautista informed the media on Monday afternoon that he told Toronto's front office exactly how many years and dollars he wants on a new deal. If the Blue Jays are willing to pay, then he'll sign, but there is no room for negotiation.
The six-time All-Star answered questions about his current situation for approximately 15 minutes. Here are some of the main highlights:
On his pending free agency:
Bautista: I don't want to make this Spring Training, or the season, about my contract situation, and I have to be fair to everybody, including myself, and focus on continuing to play baseball and be as productive as I can be. Because of those reasons, I'm not going to continue to answer questions about this for a very long time. I've expressed my interest in the past, my desire to stay here, and I don't think I need to continue to say it all the time.
On whether there's a deadline for negotiations:
Bautista: I'm not willing to negotiate, even right now. I don't think this should be a negotiation. I think I've proven myself. The question was asked what it would take, and I've given them an answer. It is what it is, I'm not going to sit here and try to bargain for a few dollars.
Clarifying comment about making his asking price known:
Bautista: "If this is going to happen, I think it should be natural, organic, quick and easy. It shouldn't be pull and tug over a few dollars here and there. I didn't want to waste any time. I didn't want to waste their time or their effort, so they can start planning ahead, and if it's not going to happen, they have plenty of time to [respond]. They asked me about two weeks ago, and I told them, that's it. There's no negotiation, I told them what I wanted. They either meet it, or it is what it is."
On how much thought went into the asking price:
Bautista:I didn't plan it that way. They just started talking. They wanted to get to know me. I felt like they knew me enough and they were comfortable enough with the type of player that I am. The question was asked, and I answered. It's not like I planned it that way. It developed that way.
On this possibly being his last year in Toronto:
Bautista:I'm not trying to be pessimistic. I'm positive, and I think they know and realize the things I say, and agree with me, it's just a matter of: Are they willing to go there? It's not necessarily Ross [Atkins] and Mark [Shapiro]. I can't say that, I don't know. Some of that decision-making of a contract of this size that I presented has to come from ownership. How much? I don't know. I don't really know how long their rope is to make exclusive decisions on contracts like that.
On his extension in 2011 and how it compares to now:
Bautista: I think I maximized on a great season back then. I just happened to outplay the contract to an extreme, even though I had to deal with a few injuries and miss a significant chunk of games. That sort of thing happens, and I never once complained about it, and I haven't still. All I'm saying is, facts are facts. I did outplay that contract, and it did come out to be as if the team got a huge hometown discount. It wasn't by design on anybody's part. They took a gamble, that was a big risk, Alex [Anthopoulos] took a lot of heat for that, and I just came through. What can I say? I'm not going to apologize for that.
Bautista's thoughts about not getting an official answer in the past two weeks:
Bautista: That it's a big decision. Sometimes, people have to think about it. I'm trying to be as optimistic as I can because I don't want to go anywhere else.
On whether he made any requests, such as promises on direction of team, etc.:
Bautista: I can't tell them how to run a team. Thankfully, I'm in a position where I have 10-and-5 rights ... and [if] they're going into an extreme rebuild mode, they're probably going to come to me at some point and ask me if I want to go somewhere else. I'll consider those options if they show up, but I don't feel the need to speculate on all of these hypothetical questions that are not necessary. We have a great team that is ready to win now, and that's what I'm trying to do now.
More on the asking price:
Bautista: I knew that the meeting was about that, and I didn't feel like there was a need to waste time for two hours talking about stats and stuff. What I've done and what my contributions have been to this organization are pretty well documented. I don't have to argue about having one or two home runs more than so and so. I'm not going to waste my time.
On whether this was really a take-it-or-leave-it offer:
Bautista: I didn't say, "Take it or leave it," but they asked me what it would take, and I answered. Since, there has been very limited conversation had. There were attempts at negotiations to which I said, "This is not happening. You asked me what the number would be, and I gave it to you. So that's it."