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According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has "spent this winter working out as a pitcher in hopes of returning as a two-way player."
"I've seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn't tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt -- threw a short one and a bigger bender. [Former teammate Marcus Stroman] said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen," Passan tweeted.
"Facts!" Stroman tweeted in response to Passan's report.
"My bro [Jose Bautista] is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!" Stroman tweeted in January.
Passan adds that Bautista is expected to play for the Dominican Republic as the country tries to qualify later this month for a spot in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, Passan notes that it's more likely Bautista plays first base for the DR, where he played 30 games at during his Major League career.
The MLB and MLBPA agreed last week to let players on a team's 40-man roster to play in qualifying events as long as they are not active in the Major Leagues.
Baustista last appeared in an MLB game on Sept. 30 of 2018 with the Philadelphia Phillies. After his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays ended a year earlier, Bautista bounced around quite a bit in 2018, starting the season with the Atlanta Braves before moving on to the New York Mets and finally ending the season with the Phillies.
In 122 combined games, the now 39-year-old hit .203 with 13 home runs and 48 runs driven in. He hit .203 with 23 homers the season before with Toronto.
Whether or not he makes it back to the majors, Bautista will be remembered for his run with the Blue Jays from 2010 to 2016 where he hit a combined total of 249 homers and led the team to two consecutive American League Championship Series appearances in 2015 and 2016.