Boston Red Sox Rumors: Why The Team Didn’t Try To Sign Edwin Encarnacion

Boston Red Sox rumors finally address why Edwin Encarnacion was never a serious consideration for the franchise. While many MLB rumors linked Encarnacion to the Red Sox as an obvious replacement for David Ortiz, it seems that the money was never really there in the first place. A report by the Boston Globe explores that issue, confirming the suspicions that some MLB analysts had expressed when discussing which teams were the best fits for Encarnacion.

After putting up another All-Star season for the Toronto Blue Jays, Edwin Encarnacion came to the end of his last contract. Immediately, he was linked to any team that could use a bump on offense, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians. After a season with 42 home runs, 127 RBIs, and 99 runs scored, the price was expectantly high to sign him. Following negotiations with several teams, Encarnacion settled on a three-year deal worth $60 million for the Indians.

Measuring his new deal against some of the bigger contracts in Major League Baseball might make Encarnacion seem like a bargain. There were several Boston Red Sox rumors about the team trying to sign him, with fans getting excited that there wouldn’t be a step backward after David Ortiz retired. Now a reality has surfaced, shining a light on how the Red Sox actually approached the situation this off-season. The end result was that the team did its best to conserve money in free agency and tried hard to remain within a specific budget.

Edwin Encarnacion During 2016 ALCS

As MLB analyst Alex Speier wrote for the Boston Globe, the franchise didn’t want to pay luxury taxes on the current season. Remaining under that $195 million threshold was something the Red Sox worked hard at during the off-season, confirming that there was no real attempt to sign someone as expensive as Encarnacion. The current luxury tax threshold is at $195 million, meaning every dollar spent above that limit received a 50 percent penalty. For instance, if the Red Sox spent $205 million ($10 million over), they would receive a $5 million “fine” from MLB.

This revelation likely applies to any other Boston Red Sox rumors floating around about the team trying to lure any of the remaining “big name” free agents. It should put an end to any chatter of Jose Bautista getting lured to Boston on a one-year deal as well. While it would be a good fit and a chance for Bautista to rebuild his value for the following off-season, he might still cost between $15-$20 million just for the 2017 MLB season. That could be a bargain for another franchise, but the Red Sox need to stay away from deals like that if they want to avoid luxury tax penalties.

The total payroll for the Red Sox is already at about $168 million for the 2017 MLB season. That includes a deferred salary to Manny Ramirez, retained salaries for Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, and anchored Minor League salaries for Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig. Then there are the salaries of David Price ($30 million), Hanley Ramirez ($22.75 million), and Rick Porcello ($20.125 million) at the top of the food chain.

Edwin Encarnacion Batting For Toronto Blue Jays

While this might not come as news that Red Sox fans want to hear, the front office is trying to get the most out of the current roster. The trade for Chris Sale will already give the franchise a nice boost when it comes to the starting rotation, with the hope that they can overcome the loss on offense that David Ortiz caused by retiring. With elite players like Mookie Betts still anchoring the team, the next set of important Boston Red Sox rumors may just include how much World Series tickets are going to cost in October.

[Featured Image by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]