It was just a few short years ago that the Oakland Athletics almost swooped up Edwin Encarnacion. Back in 2010, the A’s put in a waiver claim on the then struggling infielder before seeing the Toronto Blue Jays pull him back off waivers.
Now, six years later, Encarnacion is on the free-agent market as one of the most-feared power hitters in the game.
Uncharacteristic of the small-market A’s, they are now reportedly considering making a run at the three-time All-Star.
“The Oakland A’s are thinking about stepping out of their small-market persona and are at least considering a run at Edwin Encarnacion, the top free agent remaining on the market,” Jon Heyman over at FanRag Sports reported on Thursday.
This is one of the most-surprising developments of the young offseason.
Encarnacion, 33, is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him hit 42 homers while driving in a league-leading 127 runs.
It’s safe to say that Encarnacion, who turned down the Blue Jays’ latest offer, is demanding a contract north of $20 million annually. Whether that fits into the A’s payroll remains to be seen.
Oakland usually hits the bargain market when it comes to free agency. This was evidenced when the team signed veteran Matt Joyce earlier in the offseason.
Should the team decide to break the bank here, it might be an indication that the A’s are changing up their MO with changes themselves taking place within the organization.