July 31st, 2009: Blue Jays acquired Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart To The Reds For Scott Rolen
It’s not the trade we’re accustomed to seeing with just under an hour until the non-waivers trade deadline as both the Reds and Blue Jays were ten or more games back from their division leaders at the time.
The Blue Jays shipped out league veteran, Scott Rolen, to Cincinnati in exchange for Edwin Encarnacion as well as pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart. Roenicke and Stewart pitched a combined 53.1 innings for the Blue Jays and neither has pitched in the big leagues since 2013. Thankfully for the Toronto faithful, that Encarnacion player in the trade provided them some production and he reminded them of that every time he would tour the bases, arm out as if he was carrying parrot around the bases with him.
Encarnacion, a third baseman at the time of the trade, would go on to become one of the Blue Jays all-time greats during a time that rejuvenated a city, or even a country, that hadn’t truly seen winning philosophy from its team since the early 1990’s. He went on to hit 239 home runs for the Jays, third-most all-time, as well as 697 RBI’s over 999 games with the club, headlined by three All-Star appearances.
More importantly to everyone involved with the Blue Jays though, he was part of the core that would provide the club with back-to-back births in the ALCS.
The Reds would also get some production from Rolen throughout the final three years of his career, despite only playing over 100 games in one of those seasons. He hit 36 homers, 182 RBI’s, appeared in two All-Star games, won a Gold Glove in 2010 and appeared in the 2010 and 2012 ALDS.
Encarnacion lasted seven more seasons in Toronto compared to Rolen’s three in Cincinnati, and thus Edwin accumulated a WAR of 24.3 to Rolen’s 7.6. Not only did Encarnacion provide the Jays with longevity and production, during those final three years on Rolen’s contract, as they paid Encarnacion just over half of what Rolen received, according to Baseball Reference.
Edwin has since moved on to Cleveland where he appeared in two postseasons and was traded this offseason once again to the Seattle Mariners. With just a year left on his contract, he will remain a trade possibility as the year goes on.
The Hall of Fame class of 2019 was announced on Tuesday night and Scott Rolen was able to compile 17.2 percent of the votes in his second year on the ballot, leaving him eight years to hit the 75 percent of votes needed.
Jays Journal Contributor: Cam Black-Araujo