Edwin Encarnacion rumors indicate the All-Star hitter is going to be just fine. While the MLB offseason has been going on for a while now, it has surprised many baseball analysts that Encarnacion still hasn’t signed with a team. It has been postulated that he made a mistake not just re-signing with the Toronto Blue Jays and that his contract demands were just too much for teams to meet. A report by MLB analyst Ken Rosenthal refutes those claims, suggesting that some teams are going to miss out on the opportunity to sign an impact bat.
Rosenthal relayed some interesting information from Encarnacion’s agent, Paul Kinzer, who says that at least five teams have already offered three- and four-year contracts. That’s a big deal if it’s true, as it had appeared like the market for Encarnacion’s services wasn’t viable this offseason. There may actually be a bidding war taking place behind the scenes, but only if those teams are meeting the contract demands that have been leaked to the press.
So what is it that the previous Edwin Encarnacion rumors stated that he wanted to make in his next contract? $125 million over five season was what he was looking for to leave the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency. There have been no reports of any franchise coming close to matching those demands, with the shorter contracts seemingly confirming that point. If one team suddenly puts a five-year deal on the table, it might land Encarnacion almost immediately.
Encarnacion is coming off another All-Star season with the Blue Jays where he made $10 million in the final contract year. Encarnacion had 702 plate appearances in 160 games, posting 42 home runs, 127 RBIs, 34 doubles, 99 runs scored, a 0.263 batting average, and an OPS of 0.886 for the year. That was a career-high in RBIs, as Encarnacion led the American League. It certainly added a few dollars to his next contract, but just how much is his new team going to pay him?
Teams that could be good fits for him, even if some Edwin Encarnacion rumors state that they cannot afford him, include the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Seattle Mariners. There is no shortage of teams that could use a middle-of-the-order power hitter, especially if he can continue to perform as well as he did during the 2016 MLB season. What it really boils down to, which is the point Ken Rosenthal is trying to make, is which team won’t regret losing him in free agency.
The most interesting team that has surfaced in all the chatter would be the Astros. The team already has a really good core of hitters that includes Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman. The Astros also traded for Brian McCann from the New York Yankees and signed free agent Carlos Beltran. Adding Encarnacion to the mix would be an embarrassment of riches for the Astros, but it would also give the team an offense that would cause fear among opponents for the next few years. Would Houston forgo added pitching depth to sign Encarnacion?
There are two teams that could most use a player like Encarnacion for the 2017 MLB season and they are the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. The Indians need to add some offense as the team runs the risk of losing Mike Napoli and taking a step in the wrong direction. The Blue Jays are on the cusp of losing both Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to free agency, putting a huge dent in their offense. While these two teams certainly make the most sense, there could also be secret teams lurking within the Edwin Encarnacion rumors that are just waiting for the right moment to strike.
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