Batista’s mixed success as a right-handed swingman translated into an itinerant major-league career. In his first decade as a pro ballplayer, Batista left the Expos organization three times — first as a Rule V selection by the Pirates in 1991, again when he was released by the club in 1994, and finally when a trade sent him to Kansas City for Brad Rigby in 2000. “Whoever has been surprised [by a trade] has not played for the Expos,” Batista told the Montreal Gazette that April. “Either you’re a superstar or a prospect and I’m not any of those.”
Royals skipper Tony Muser was so encouraged by Batista’s K.C. debut -– he gave up only one hit in four innings -– that he awarded him a spot in the starting rotation. This proved to be overly optimistic, as Batista managed just one win and a 6.56 ERA in his next nine games. He returned to the bullpen, made only four inconsequential appearances, and was designated for assignment in late June before finishing the season at Triple-A Omaha. Pitching for Arizona the following season, Batista was surprisingly effective, keeping his ERA around 3.50 in over a hundred innings of work.