Houston Astros: Jose Bautista fake rumors should not be a surprise

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Bautista
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Bautista /

Just when it seemed like the Houston Astros couldn’t possibly get any better with the team they have set for 2018, there were rumors roaming around about a potential free-agent signing coming into Houston one week before Opening Day. As Houston Astros fans got caught up in the idea that Jose Bautista might be or might not be an Astro, a recalling of a similar situation from last year is taking shape.

So Houston Astros fans, last night, I was just minding my own business and still dreaming about how the Houston Astros were going to repeat as World Series champions. I then decided to take a look at my Instagram stories and I saw one from Astros Center, someone who doesn’t work for the Houston Astros but does post information about them.

He posted that he knew a source that claimed the Houston Astros had signed an outfielder. I thought that was a strange thing, but wondered who it was. Then, he posted a tweet from that source saying that Jose Bautista was the outfielder:


Are you asking what this person tweeted out or about Jose Bautista?

Just to help you guys out, I found the translation.

"@BreakingNews my sources inform me that you #JoeyBats19 just signed with @Astros #beisbol #True"

So, that’s one puzzle out of the way. Now, what about the other?


I mean, it was a possibility. The Astros signing Bautista, the man best known for the bat flip heard around the world.

Then again, he was known for getting punched by that other team from Texas.

But I’m sure you guys are picturing Bautista wearing #19 on an Astros jersey and becoming part of a team that has a legitimate chance to win it all. He in a way is almost like Justin Verlander, who was on good Detroit Tigers teams that failed to win the World Series. Bautista was on Toronto Blue Jays teams that made the ALCS twice. Why would he sign with us? For one reason and one reason only. To win a World Series ring.

So you guys might be excited or somewhat skeptical about this potential free agent signing. But what was my opinion about it you ask? Well, I’m giving you four simple words.

I Didn’t Buy It!

Why not you ask?

Three reasons!

1) My coworker, who sarcastically stated that he would buy this told me he wasn’t signing and I believe him

2) Because I know what it was like to feel that a free agent that’s a superstar coming to Houston only to find out the deal wasn’t made. For one thing, it seems strange that Bautista would want to sign with us one week before Opening Day. We probably have our roster set and our Opening Day lineup in place. Having Bautista play would sure tick off the Rangers, but I don’t know if there is enough time for him to get acquainted or if he would contribute well to us.

3) For another thing, this same thing happened last season. We had the same situation take place last season that it seems like people forgot because we won it all. Don’t believe me? Well, let me tell you what I experienced the last off season.

Even Brian McTaggart of MLB.com shot down the rumor earlier this morning.

2016-17 Off season

We had just signed Josh Reddick and traded for Brian McCann to help our team. But many fans thought there was a need for another big bat. One name that kept coming around was Bautista’s former teammate Edwin Encarnacion. Believe me, this guy had a legitimate bat.

Encarnacion had some big homers, including the same game Bautista did his bat flip and the walk-off home run against Baltimore in 2016. 

With the Crawford Boxes in left field about a mile away, we would’ve had our version of a half-Giancarlo Stanton on our team. But it seemed like a long shot.

The Rumor Begins

Out of nowhere one day, I see reports that Edwin Encarnacion and the Astros were nearing a deal. This got me excited just like everyone else. I keep track of it waiting for the moment the deal was made. During that time, I answered questions from Blue Jays or baseball fans as to why Encarnacion would want to go to a city not known for winning and was smaller than Toronto.

There were even reports that Encarnacion had the interest from the Yankees. Go figure! They’re afraid of us inside by the way.  It also would’ve made perfect sense for him to go to the Yankees. But it also would’ve made perfect sense for Encarnacion to join the Astros. At least I thought that way at first.

As time went on by, it appeared that the reports I thought I was getting weren’t true. It was almost like the Wilmer Flores near-trade to the Brewers two years ago or to make it a societal issue, the War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles. We just kept waiting for the deal to be made and it didn’t happen.


I wasn’t too upset about the fact we didn’t get Encarnacion. Looking back, it didn’t make sense for

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us because we had some talented outfielders and we had a well-oiled hitting machine of a lineup. To be fair, I was more upset when Verlander reportedly vetoed the deal to join us. But there was a silver lining or two about the situation.

  1. Encarnacion signed with the Cleveland Indians.
  2. Carlos Beltran signed with the Houston Astros.

How did both silver linings turn out?

  1. Cleveland wins 22 games in a row for first place in the American League. But they blow a 2-0 series lead to the Yankees.
  2. Carlos Beltran… well, do I need to say more?

Moral of the story

Unfortunately, in a time where journalism doesn’t always report the facts because the sources are not credible or they just don’t care about the truth, we always have to wait for confirmation. It’s ok to get excited about something as big as this. But just like Encarnacion to the Indians, the rumors of Bautista signing with us are not true. Also, keep in mind that we won the World Series without Encarnacion. We could win another World Series this year and we won’t have Bautista on our team.

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It’s not easy to digest all these trade or free agent signing. But one thing is for sure. Whether Bautista did decide to sign with us or not if the rumors were true, it doesn’t change the fact that we are the World Series champions and we got a title to defend.