Could José Bautista return as two-way player?

March 2nd, 2020

Former Major League slugger José Bautista will play for the Dominican Republic in the Olympic qualifier later this month, according to’s Jon Paul Morosi, and he’s trying to make a comeback beyond that, too.

Bautista last played in the Majors in 2018 and is now 39 years old. He spent this past winter working out as a pitcher with hopes of returning to the Majors as a two-way player, but is expected to play first base for the Dominican Republic, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Passan notes that one source said Bautista can throw his fastball up to 94 mph, and that his slider has notable movement. Bautista worked out with Marcus Stroman this offseason and the Mets starter said on Twitter that Bautista could be a Major League reliever.

Bautista's hardest-tracked throw as a big leaguer, according to Statcast, was a 96.6-mph throw from right field to home plate while he was with the Phillies in 2018, though it was not an assist -- and of course, it wasn’t from a mound, either.

Bautista played 15 years in the Major Leagues, hitting 344 homers and playing in 1,798 games.