The market for former Blue Jays’ 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion has reportedly picked up following the Yoenis Cespedes signing
Edwin Encarnacion’s agent Paul Kinzer still hasn’t found an ear he doesn’t like this off-season.
Soon after top free agent Yoenis Cespedes inked a four-year, $110 million deal to stay with the New York Mets, Kinzer told TSN’s Rick Westhead that the Toronto Blue Jays were still very interested in keeping their own star in town.
“The Jays are showing Edwin the most love,” Kinzer told Westhead. “We’re talking. They want him back. Ross has been talking to Edwin. They have a great relationship.”
If Blue Jays’ general manager Ross Atkins and Encarnacion have been speaking directly, that’s certainly uncommon in free agency. Typically negotiations run through the agent, but Encarnacion’s history with the Blue Jays does make this a unique situation.
“We won’t put any restrictions on any offer like years or anything,” Kinzer added. “He’s going to decide where he’s comfortable. One of the things we have to look at is the big difference in the tax base between some of the teams that are interested. Plus, there’s a comfort level we need to consider.”
Kinzer said that he expects Encarnacion to sign his deal later this week or early next week, but given the sudden jolt that the free agent market received on Tuesday, nothing should come as a surprise.
A corresponding move could come out of the New York Mets’ outfield with Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson, and on Tuesday evening the Chicago Cubs dipped their toe by signing outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year, $8 million deal. As teams begin to move and shake, Encarnacion and Kinzer will continue to walk the fine line that all free agents walk.
Has the market already done all of the work it can for Encarnacion’s value, or will further patience broaden his appeal even further?
The Blue Jays reportedly offered Encarnacion a four-year, $80 million deal earlier in the off-season. A very fair starting point, surely, but the annual average value of $27.5 million being paid to Cespedes will push that number in Encarnacion’s favour.