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Rays are interested in Jose Bautista

The offseason season is back and so are the Jose Bautista rumors!

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The General Manager meetings are in full swing, with rumors beginning to circulate, and several of them involve the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network and Fox Sports reports the Rays are interested in adding veteran slugger Jose Bautista to the fold for the 2018 season. The Rays had been linked to Bautista last offseason, before he returned to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bautista, a major league veteran of 14 seasons, just turned 37 years old in October and is coming off an extremely disappointing season with the Blue Jays in which he slashed a mere .203/.308/.366 with 23 HR, good for 80 wRC+ (his lowest since becoming a full-time player) and he accrued -0.5 fWAR. The Jays made the easy decision to decline his option for the 2018 season.

The main reason the Rays would want to add Bautista is his potential against left-handed pitching, which was a major deficit for the team in 2017. Although Bautista struggled mighty against LHP in 2017 (68 wRC+), he has a career wRC+ of 129 against them.

He would likely be limited to DH duty if he signed with the Rays, with an occasional start in the outfield if the team desperately needed a spot start.