Bautista’s $17.5M option declined by Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) Jose Bautista’s $17.5 million option has been declined by the Toronto Blue Jays, who will pay a $500,000 buyout.

Bautista became a free agent Sunday after the team turned down its half of the mutual option on the 36-year-old right fielder.

Toronto general manager Ross Atkins had said on Oct. 3, two days after the Blue Jays’ season ended, that the team intended to decline the option.

A three-time All-Star who spent 10 years with the Blue Jays, Bautista hit .203 this year with 23 homers, 65 RBIs and a franchise-record 170 strikeouts.

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