This may have been Jose Bautista at his most diplomatic.

As he spoke, Bautista was sitting in a clubhouse riven by injuries and colonized by nine players who spent significant chunks of the season in Triple-A Buffalo. But the Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger said he believes his team can remain a contender “with the bodies we have here.”

Which, as anyone paying attention knows, is a stretch.

At the same time, however, Bautista would be happy if his boss came bearing gifts in the next couple of weeks. It is a sentiment shared by others in the clubhouse, although Bautista stressed that he speaks only for himself.

The Jays’ team leader, who sticks out in a lineup depleted by injuries to key players, gave his midsummer assessment of the Jays before they faced the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game before the all-star break.