ATLANTA (AP) — Jose Bautista is back in the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves, who inserted the 37-year-old at third base and fifth in the batting order against San Francisco.
Unable to find a job during the offseason, Bautista agreed to a minor league contract with the Braves on April 18 and hit .250 with one homer and eight RBIs at Triple-A Gwinnett.
Atlanta wanted the six-time All-Star to play third base, a position he had not seen much time at since 2011. He had two errors in 30 chances at Gwinnett.
Bautista replaces Ryan Flaherty and Johan Camargo as Atlanta’s primary third baseman.
Atlanta had won five straight entering Friday, moving into the NL East lead. The Braves outfield is set with Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis and 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr., the youngest position player in the major leagues.
Bautista earned $18 million under a one-year deal with Toronto last season but put up subpar numbers for the second straight year, hitting .203 with 23 homers and 65 RBIs in 157 games.
He will get $819,672, a prorated share of his $1 million salary.
To clear a roster spot, Atlanta optioned outfielder Preston Tucker to Triple-A Gwinnett.
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