According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays offered Edwin Encarnacion a four-year contract worth $80 million dollars earlier this offseason, but were turned down. Still, Heyman says that Toronto is still open to re-signing him despite signing Kendrys Morales a week ago.
“The Jays didn’t entice Encarnacion to make a quick decision to return with their offer, but their continuing interest suggests the deal they offered is likely still on the table, at the least.”
A three time All Star, Encarnacion has been one of the premier power hitters in the game for a while now. Since 2012, he hasn’t hit less than 34 home runs, and that year he only played in 128 games.
In those five seasons, he has hit .272/.367/.544 with 193 home runs, 553 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. The former Cincinnati Reds third baseman played 160 games for the Blue Jays in 2016, belting 42 home runs and leading the American League with 127 RBIs.
The question is does the Encarnacion want more dollars or a fifth year? There are only three premier right-handed power hitters in this free agent market, so in a market that is so often driven by scarcity and demand, perhaps there’s a fifth year out there for Encarnacion despite the fact he’ll be 34 next spring.
However, I’m guessing he’s looking for an average annual salary of $25 million which isn’t exactly out of the question for his production. The other thing could be that Yoenis Cespedes is the linchpin to this offseason for power hitters and they are waiting to see what he signs for.
The Red Sox, Yankees and the suddenly free spending Astros have all been connected to Encarnacion who mostly DH’ed last season.
Of course this news is going to bring on an onslaught of posts saying that Cespedes is as good as gone as far as the New York Mets are concerned. It’s horse shit of course and just a nice way to get a bump in traffic for 15 minutes.
I am still hearing from more than one baseball insider that Sandy Alderson and his front office are in close negotiations with Cespedes and his agents, as they look to get something done before the Winter Meetings.
And one person I spoke with says that talks have advanced to a level he described as “serious.” I still believe an announcement is very close.
Encarnacion turning down his offer from the Blue Jays will have little to no bearing on what the Mets and Cespedes will ultimately do.
And as for that Cespedes to the Yankees rumor that one site keeps perpetuating every single day, you can use it to wipe your ass with in case you run out of Charmin. There is no real buzz on that other than an obligatory check-in almost a month ago.