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Mets interested in Jose Bautista

Bautista played for the Braves briefly this year before they released him.

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The Braves just released Jose Bautista yesterday, and the Mets are interested in him, according to Mike Puma. Atlanta had signed the veteran to a minor league deal in mid-April, and once he got through some time in the minors to get ready, he was called up to the big league team and given an everyday role at third base, a position he hadn’t played with any regularity in years.

But in twelve games and 40 plate appearances with Atlanta, Bautista hit two home runs but had just a .143/.250/.343 line and a 63 wRC+. Before that, he had made a name for himself as the Blue Jays’ power-hitting right fielder.

Last year, though, Bautista hit just .203/.308/.366 with 23 home runs and an 80 wRC+, a steep drop-off from his previous level of production. He hit just 22 home runs in 2016 but finished with a 122 wRC+, a much better overall level of production. And at the time, that was his single-season low since he broke out in a big way back in 2010.

Now 37 years old, Bautista might not ever bounce back to the type of player he was just a couple years ago. But for the Mets to be interested makes some sense, as they have extremely thin outfield depth—with no right-handed-hitting outfielders on the active roster—and are still carrying Jose Reyes.