Blue Jays decline to pick up Bautista's option

Blue Jays decline to pick up Bautista's option

Jose Bautista's tenure in Toronto is over, as the team will not pick up their end of a 2018 mutual option. 

The Blue Jays informed Bautista that they would not pick up their end of the option in September. The outfielder had a $17 million option with a $500,000 buyout and the potential for a $20 million vesting option in 2019.

Bautista, 37, slashed just .234/.308/.366 in 157 games and saw his highest strikeout rate (24.8 percent) and lowest walk rate (12.2 percent) in a full season since joining the Blue Jays in August 2008.

Over parts of 10 seasons with Toronto, Bautista has hit 288 home runs, leading the league in 2010 and 2011. He earned six consecutive All-Star appearances, three Silver Slugger Awards and a third-place MVP finish in 2011.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.