Toronto Blue Jays free agent infielder Edwin Encarnacion may be closing in on a deal with an unnamed club. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Encarnacion’s agent is indicating to others around the league that the All-Star is closer to pinning down a deal.
Edwin Encarnacion's rep indicating to some execs he is getting closer to pinning down a deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 22, 2016
It was reported on Wednesday that five teams have officially made a contract offer to Encarnacion, including the Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics. Another report indicated that Oakland was among the most-aggressive in going after the free agent.
The interesting dynamic here is that Encarnacion may accept a long-term deal with an opt-out clause following the 2017 season. That might put the small-market A’s in real contention for his services.
The expectation all along here is that Encarnacion would receive a deal north of $20 million per season and with a total value of $100-plus million. Despite this, interest in his services has been lukewarm around the baseball world. At least, until now.
Encarnacion, 33, posted a career-best performance in 2016. He hit .263 with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI for Toronto. The three-time All-Star has hit 30-plus homers in each of the past five seasons.