The Blue Jays slugger seems unsure of what more he could have done as the organization reportedly remains hesitant in contract negotiations
Edwin Encarnacion has been surprisingly open about his contract negotiations in recent days.
The 33-year-old Dominican is not seeking out the media to be used as a tool by any stretch, but when asked about contract talks between he and the Blue Jays, his answers have been simple and honest. Unfortunately for Toronto fans, that also means they’ve been a little sobering.
“I want to stay here,” Encarnacion told Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun early Saturday.
“I’m really disappointed that nothing has happened, but it’s not my decision. They don’t have it in their plans for me to stay here.”
From an outside perspective, Toronto fans are also seeing a more heartfelt approach from Encarnacion to this negotiation process. Jose Bautista has been more businesslike, which is neither better nor worse, but Edwin gives the surface impression that he truly wants to stay.
“I tried to do the best for my team, I feel as if I have done all I can do for my team,” said Encarnacion. “I want to be here for a long time.”
To Encarnacion’s credit, he’s right.
Over the past four seasons he’s averaged 38 home runs with 106 RBIs and a cumulative triple-slash of .274 / .371 / .549. Those are rare numbers.
He has also battled through a myriad of nagging injuries to play relatively full seasons, but unfortunately for Encarnacion, the value of this upcoming contract must be based on his projected value over the coming years. Not what he has already done.
Such is the cruel nature of professional sports contracts for individuals over the age of 30.
These quotes reflect poorly on the organization at first glance, of course, but with negotiations that are playing out in a way that is inconsistently public, the safe approach to to hear everything, but take nothing as the gospel.
With each passing day, however, it becomes more likely that Encarnacion and Bautista will be given the opportunity, like it or not, to test the free agent waters come season’s end.
After a deep playoff run, surely.