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Home Run Champion Bautista Signs Five-Year Deal With Blue Jays

Jose Bautista, who led Major League Baseball with 54 home runs in 2010, has signed a five-year, $64 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bautista, 30, also led the majors with 92 extra-base hits last season and earned his first All-Star selection. The contract, which pays the outfielder $8 million next season and $14 million in each of the following four years, includes a club option for 2016, the team said today in a news release.

Last season, Bautista became the fourth player in baseball history to record at least 35 doubles, 50 home runs and 100 walks in a season. His club-record 54 home runs were more than triple his previous career high of 16, set in 2006 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The contract allows Bautista and the Blue Jays to avoid arbitration. Bautista, who made $2.4 million last season, was seeking $10.5 million through arbitration and the team originally countered with a $7.6 million offer, according to the Toronto Star.

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