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Jose Bautista still seeking home for 2018

MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose Bautista was on the Rays' radar, according to ESPN.com's Marly Rivera, who tweeted that Tampa Bay and Atlanta were among the teams interested in signing the veteran outfielder to a one-year deal.

But later on Monday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the Rays were unlikely to sign the six-time All-Star.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose Bautista was on the Rays' radar, according to ESPN.com's Marly Rivera, who tweeted that Tampa Bay and Atlanta were among the teams interested in signing the veteran outfielder to a one-year deal.

But later on Monday, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the Rays were unlikely to sign the six-time All-Star.

Tweet from @Feinsand: According to a source, the Rays are unlikely to sign Jose Bautista.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted earlier that the Braves were no longer interested in Bautista.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Braves checked in awhile back on Jose Bautista but are no longer in play for him. Rays are the other team that���s been publicly linked to him. Uncertain whether they are involved now though.

Sunday afternoon, Tampa Bay reduced its roster down to one final decision regarding who will become their extra right-handed-hitting outfielder.

In-house candidates include Johnny Field and Brandon Snyder, but throughout the spring, it has been speculated that the Rays would try to find a candidate for that spot from outside the organization.

Signing Peter Bourjos had been an option after the Cubs released the outfielder on Friday, as he spent the 2017 season with the Rays. However, the Braves have since signed Bourjos to a Major League deal

Bautista could be a good fit for Tampa Bay -- if he has anything left in the tank. The former MLB homer leader had an underwhelming 2017 campaign, batting .203 with 23 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .674 OPS. He also hit just .201 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 139 at-bats vs. lefties.

On the plus side, Bautista is two years removed from a 2015 season in which he hit .250 with 40 home runs and 114 RBIs.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Jose Bautista