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Report: Indians made 'nice play' for Bautista during free agency

Ken Blaze / USA TODAY Sports

Jose Bautista's decision to return to the Toronto Blue Jays appealed to many of the team's fans, and he reportedly chose that return over a similar pitch from the club that defeated Toronto in the American League Championship Series.

The Cleveland Indians made a "nice play" for Bautista in free agency, offering about the same guaranteed money as the $18.5-million deal he signed with the Blue Jays, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Cleveland was reportedly willing to consider a multi-year deal, but Bautista ended talks because he preferred to remain a Blue Jay. Sources in the Indians organization told Heyman that Toronto's offer to the 36-year-old was better than their proposal.

The Indians enjoyed a tremendous offseason, adding Bautista's now ex-teammate Edwin Encarnacion in December on a three-year deal. Bautista's market was slow to develop, and the veteran didn't sign his one-year pact with Toronto until almost a month later.

Bautista's deal in Toronto includes a mutual $17-million option in 2018 as well as a $20-million vesting option in 2019 that kicks in if he combines to appear in 300 games in 2017 and 2018.

Report: Indians made 'nice play' for Bautista during free agency
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