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The Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have extended the deadline for their contract negotiations until Friday. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill


Jose Bautista is reportedly involved in last-ditch discussions to work out a long term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The reigning major-league baseball home run king was in Arizona Monday where his 2011 salary was to be determined through arbitration. reported on Twitter that Bautista's representatives have asked that the arbitration hearing be postponed until Friday, presumably to allow enough time that a long-term deal be worked out.

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Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos did confirm Monday night, in a statement released by the team, that the report was true.

"Our arbitration hearing with Jose Bautista has been postponed to allow further negotiation between the player and the club," he said. "As it is the Blue Jays' policy not to discuss contract negotiations, I will not be making any further comments regarding Jose Bautista until an agreement is reached or the conclusion of the arbitration process."

Last week Bautista said that if he was required to go through the arbitration process that would determine his 2011 salary he would not entertain any talks with the Blue Jays over the course of the season for a contract extension.

Bautista told The Globe and Mail on Friday that while his agent had been in regular contact with the Jays, the American League club had made no formal contract offer to him.

Bautista made $2.4-million (all currency U.S.) last season while leading the major leagues with 54 home runs.

When the two sides exchanged numbers for the arbitration process, Bautista was seeking $10.5-million while the club countered with an offer of $7.6-million.

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