According to agent Paul Kizner, Edwin Encarnacion wants to remain with the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately for Toronto, the Jays are well below his asking price.
Chris Cotillo of SB nation cited a radio interview that Kizner gave, expressing those sentiments.
Kinzer: Blue Jays have made an offer, but it's not where the camp wanted it to be. Toronto remains Edwin's no. 1 choice.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 10, 2016
Kizner also added that the decision will likely come no later than the Winter Meetings.
Coming off of a monster season, Encarnacion figures to be one of this offseason’s priciest free agents.
In 2016, Encarnacion slashed at .263/.357/.529 and hit 42 home runs. Over the last five years, the slugger has slashed at .272/.367/.544 and averaged better than 39 home runs per season.
There was one reasonably surprising revelation made by Kizner. The Boston Red Sox have not been aggressive in pursuing Encarnacion.
That’s surprising for a few reasons.
One, the agent’s goal should be to drive the price up for his client. Stating publicly that the interest of a big market team often linked to your client is somewhat cooled is a strange negotiating ploy.
Two, the Red Sox have a hole to fill will David Ortiz’s retirement. Encarnacion is not a particularly strong fielder. So, he’d be a natural to split time at first base with Hanley Ramirez for a few years before transitioning to being a full time DH.
Boston certainly has the money to pay Encarnacion what he wants. Perhaps the signing of Pablo Sandoval — which has been nothing short of disastrous, thus far — is scaring the Red Sox off.
Regardless of Boston’s interest, Encarnacion should sign a hefty contract this year. If he does sign early and set the markey, more guys might quickly follow suit.