Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is set to be one of the top free agents on the market this coming offseason. According to his agent, Paul Kizner, Encarnacion has no plans on signing a deal with Toronto before the season begins.
“Once the season started, we were not going to negotiate,” Kinzer said, via Jon Heyman, FanRag Sports. “He thought it was a distraction last time. He’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen him. Why mess with the guy? He’s content. He’s happy.”
This certainly makes sense. While it’s not a universal rule, negotiating contracts in the middle of a season is generally not a good idea. This is especially true when the team in question is in the midst of a playoff race.
The focus of Encarnacion and the Blue Jays should be on making the playoffs in 2016, not his contract in 2017.
Additionally, from a pure business standpoint, it makes no sense for Encarnacion to negotiate right now. He is in the midst of a monster season in Toronto. Encarnacion is slashing at a solid .267/.358/.541 with 23 home runs and a league-leading 80 RBI.
The Blue Jays are the only team that can negotiate with Encarnacion until after the World Series. Signing with Toronto in season would prevent other teams from bidding on him in free agency.
Naturally, that would prevent bidding wars. Without those bidding wars, Encarnacion’s price tag stays down.
So while the Blue Jays and their fans may be a little more comfortable having Encarnacion locked up beyond this year, it won’t happen. Really, it shouldn’t happen.