April 18 (UPI) — The Atlanta Braves signed Jose Bautista to a Minor League contract on Wednesday.
Bautista, 37, has reported to Atlanta’s extending spring training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He will play third base. The former Toronto Blue Jays slugger will receive $1 million if he reaches the majors, according to FanRag Sports and MLB.com.
Bautista was also linked to the Tampa Bay Rays in free agency, before agreeing to terms with the National League East franchise.
The six-time All-Star had 23 home runs and 65 RBIs, while hitting .203 in 157 games last season for the Blue Jays. Toronto declined to pick up his $17 million option for 2018, sending the veteran into free agency. The mutual option included a $500,000 buyout.
Bautista made his Major League Baseball debut on April 4, 2004. He went on to play the 2004 season for the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bautista remained with Pittsburgh, before being traded to the Blue Jays in 2008. He led the baseball in home runs in 2010 and 2011. Bautista also had a league-high 132 walks during the 2011 season. He led the American League in free passes during the 2015 season.
The slugger owns a career .250 batting average. Bautista was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The Braves take on the Blue Jays on June 19 in Toronto.