Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for December 21st
Paul Kinzer, the agent of former Toronto Blue Jays’ 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, continues to be the most frequently heard voice on the free agent market.
On Wednesday, Kinzer joined Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 The FAN to discuss his client’s ongoing availability, something that’s looking more and more like a future lesson to pending free agent sluggers (and their representation).
“We’ve had multi-year offers from six different teams between three and four years, most of them in the three range,” Kinzer told Blair, adding that it’s sunk in that “he probably won’t be a Blue Jay”.
As you might expect if you’ve been following Encarnacion’s free agency, Kinzer was also speaking with local and national reporters south of the border today.
“Edwin’s not in a panic. He still feels like he’s in control of the situation,” Kinzer told Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. “He’s put up five years of consistent stats. Some people are acting like we’re in a panic. Are you kidding me?”
Perplexing how one would come to that conclusion, is it not?
Kinzer also told Heyman that two teams have been specifically aggressive. That number changed to three when he spoke with Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
“Five or six teams [are in], though one is not as serious as the others,” he told Sherman. “Three teams really want the guy, but have to figure out how to make it work under their structure.”
Simply put, Encarnacion deserves better than the market he’s been met with — and the one that’s been developed for him.
Crasnick’s report, citing the agent of free agent boom-or-bust power threat Chris Carter, suggests that the current wealth of right-handed bats on the market could be ‘on hold’ until Encarnacion — who is still the big fish — finds a new home.
This makes sense, as any team looking for that type of player would be wise to exhaust all options with the top option before moving down the list, even when Encarnacion’s draft pick attachment is considered.
Payroll talk is always a point of contention at this time of the year with the Blue Jays. TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that it will come in around $165 million, which fits in line with what should be expected from Toronto.
Mark Shapiro suggested that the Blue Jays won’t be a top-5 payroll team, but could land in the next five. While fans will call for a greater increase after the attendance boom of 2015 and 2016, it’s not entirely an X = Y equation, and if a team cannot win with a fringe top-10 payroll, money isn’t their only issue.