Last night the AP reported that the Blue Jays signed last season's home run leader Jose Bautista, who is coming off a 54 HR, 124 RBI, and .260 BA 2010, to a 5-year $65 Million contract. Prior to 2010 Bautista batted .240 with Ryan Garko power.
Thus, there is the danger that Buatista went Andruw Jones/ Adrian Beltre in a contract year, and the Blue Jays made an investment based on a Chris Wilcox-2002 NCAA tournament/ Akili Smith-1998 Oregon sample size of data. And, with the offensively mercurial Vernon Wells now in Anaheim, or Los Angeles, or Anaheim-Los Angeles, Bautista will likely see fewer quality pitches.
(Not that Yunel Escobar and Adam Lind don't strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Then again, the likes of CC Sabathia probably don't even know who Escobar and Lind are. In fact, CC probably doesn't even know that the Blue Jays are a team despite the fact that he'll face them one or two times a year. He probably just calls them the "blue team". But, in Spanish.)
Assuming 2010 wasn't an anomaly Bautista is promising. Besides the power numbers, in MLB he was 9th in pitches per plate appearance, 4th in number of pitches, 1st in extra base hits, 4th in runs created, 11th in BB to K ratio, and 5th in BB to plate appearances. But, because these are the Blue Jays the gratuitous Vernon Wells acknowledgement is necessary. After a 32 HR, 106 RBI, .303 2006, the Jays gave Wells a pre-Jayson Werthian 7-year $126 million contract. While Wells disappointed from 2007-2009, he was an All-star in 2010 and the contract was back-loaded so the Angels will absorb much of the burden.
In the grand scheme of things none of this really matters because outside Rickey Romero and Brett Cecil the Blue Jays have a starting rotation that screams fourth-place in the AL East for the fourth consecutive year, which--in all fairness--is basically the same as finishing second in the NL Central.