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No luck for Twins, Jose Bautista close to returning to Toronto

Twins' fans hoping to see Jose Bautista slugging the ball around Target Field won't like this.

Jose Bautista has loved hitting at Target Field, so when rumors were circulating last week that he met with the Twins about a place to play in 2017, fans got a little excited.

It turns out, that was more than likely wishful thinking. Multiple reports indicate the Toronto slugger is close to a deal to return to the Blue Jays.

According to MLB.com, there are still several contract details to be worked out and he would need to pass a physical, but Bautista would fill a major hole left in the Blue Jays outfield and lineup – especially in the wake of Edwin Encarnacion's departure for Cleveland.

Bautista hit 22 home runs in 116 games with Toronto last season, although it was the first time in seven years that he wasn't named an All-Star. It appears, even at 36, Bautista was drawing plenty of interest around the league.

Bautista coming to the Twins would have made some sense. He could have provided Minnesota some needed veteran leadership and split time in the lineup between the outfield and DH.

It also would have been good because he's made a living out of hitting at Target Field. In 21 career games there, Bautista is hitting .349 with 14 homers, 5 doubles and 23 RBIs. He's also posted a mind-boggling 1.324 OPS.

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