Monday, February 14, 2011
Updated: February 15, 10:45 AM ET
Source: Parties eye long-term deal
By Enrique Rojas
Right fielder Jose Bautista's arbitration hearing with the Toronto Blue Jays -- originally scheduled for Monday -- was postponed to Friday at the request of both parties, a source told ESPNdeportes.com.
The postponement gives the parties more time to agree to a multiyear contract, which they recently began to negotiate, the source added.
Bautista, 30, requested a salary of $10.5 million for 2011, while the club offered $7.6 million. He would be eligible for free agency after next season if a multiyear deal isn't reached.
Bautista has a .244 career batting average with five teams in his seven-year MLB career, but is coming off a dream season in which he led the majors with 54 homers and was selected to his first All-Star game.
In his third year with Blue Jays, Bautista hit .260 with 124 RBIs and 109 runs scored.
The Dominican was fourth in AL MVP voting and was the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award, awarded to the most complete batter in each league.
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.