As the free agency of former Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Edwin Encarnacion continues to drag on, his lower-than-expected price point is opening his market to all types of teams.
That even includes the Oakland Athletics, according to a report from Jon Heyman.
“It isn’t known whether the A’s are just one of the likely bargain hunters at this point, but they’ve occasionally stepped out of character,” Heyman writes, “like when they made a bold run at Adrian Beltre, offering him $65 million before he went to the rival Rangers for $80 million plus an option that took him to $96 million.
Encarnacion is a curious fit with Oakland, who lost 93 games in 2016 and haven’t taken drastic steps towards making a playoff run in 2017. While Encarnacion’s price tag has undeniably shrunk, the A’s don’t exactly spend like the Dodgers.
Oakland and Encarnacion actually share a link earlier in his career. In November of 2010, the A’s claimed Encarnacion off waivers from the Blue Jays in a move that could have changed the narrative of both franchises. Three weeks later, they non-tendered Encarnacion and he signed back with the Blue Jays.
With a protected draft pick in the top 10, Oakland would only be required to give up their second-round pick for if they signed Encarnacion. Toronto’s compensation would not be impacted in that case.
Elsewhere, Jon Morosi reports that the Texas Rangers have checked in on Encarnacion’s price tag with his agent:
Texas is a more sensible fit for Encarnacion on a surface level given both their roster and appetite for spending big.
The Rangers opened 2016 with Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland, then added the veteran Carlos Beltran ahead of the trade deadline for their playoff run. None of those bats are returning for the coming season.
Some have suggested that Texas will look for a way to slide Shin-Soo Choo and his heavy salary into the DH spot, but if Encarnacion’s price tag truly is this low, he represents an opportunity to put Texas’ lineup over the top.