Edwin Encarnacion’s agent, Paul Kinzer, appeared on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto this morning and discussed his client’s progressing free agency. Here are some highlights from Kinzer’s interview:
- The Blue Jays have made Encarnacion a formal offer since the beginning of the offseason, but it was not “where [Encarnacion and his agents] wanted it to be.”
- Toronto remains Encarnacion’s top choice due to his familiarity with the club and city, and is not likely to make his decision based only on a financial basis.
- There is a “short list” of clubs Encarnacion would sign with based on a variety of factors, meaning that the slugger has narrowed his list to a few teams.
- The process has thrown the camp “a couple of curves” so far, with unexpected clubs jumping into the sweepstakes and surprising Kinzer.
- The Red Sox, who were looked at as a favorite for Encarnacion during the season, have not been aggressive in talks and do not appear to be a favorite at this time. Kinzer noted that he had spoken with Boston, but that they were not as involved as some other clubs.
- Encarnacion’s decision is likely to come “soon,” with the “worst-case” scenario being a deal getting completed during the Winter Meetings next month. Kinzer made it seem likely that Encarnacion will be one of the first free agents off the market, and that things could come together quickly.
In total, it seems like Encarnacion’s free-agent process is evolving and that his camp is getting closer to a resolution. Toronto was reportedly making a strong push to re-sign him earlier in the week, though the club’s offer was obviously not enough to get a deal done.
Reports this week have linked many clubs to Encarnacion, including the Astros, Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox. He is said to be looking for a contract in the 5-year, $125 million range and is competing with Yoenis Cespedes as the top free-agent bats available this winter.