Edwin Encarnacion’s career as a Toronto Blue Jay has officially come to an end. According to reports from multiple MLB insiders, the deal is worth $65 million over the next three years, with a $20 million option for a fourth year, and a $5 million dollar buyout.
The 4/$80 the Jays reportedly offered Encarnacion early in the offseason had more guaranteed money attached to it; however, Edwin has a chance to get to that $80 million dollar total if the fourth year option is exercised by Cleveland.
For many in the Blue Jays community, Edwin’s departure will come as no surprise, as the Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce contracts basically signaled the end of Edwin’s Blue Jay tenure unless his market cratered to a point where the Jays would get involved.
Angered fans will point to management’s inability to exercise enough patience for Edwin’s market to develop, and cite that this deal would have been a boon for the club. In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize. Could they have realistically predicted that his market would have gotten to this point? No, of course not. They moved on, and continued on with their offseason.
Edwin was a terrific Blue Jay, and he’s been on of the most consistent power threats for years, but if you didn’t see this coming and you’re somehow surprised by this, it’s unfortunately time to move on. The Jays have plenty of time and payroll to work with, and it’s suddenly time to look ahead to what could be in the Jays’ future.
On the Indians side of things, this makes their lineup downright scary, especially if Michael Brantley can stay on the field for more than 500 AB’s, and well, they’re already being penciled in as 2017 AL Central Champs.
Edwin slashed .263/.357/.529/.886 with a 134 wRC+, 42 HR and 127 RBI last season. Steamer projects him for .256/.352/.494/.846 with a 125 wRC+, 34 HR and 95 for 2017, as they expect the aging curve to hit him accordingly.
Let’s celebrate Edwin’s career as a Blue Jay instead of screaming for what could have been. He was a joy to watch throughout the last seven years and he will be missed, but it’s now time to move on and focus on what the next move is for Atkins and Co.