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Astros, Blue Jays pursuing Edwin Encarnacion as slugger nears decision

A roundup of notes on the top remaining free agent slugger.

ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Five Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

With Yoenis Cespedes re-signing with the Mets on Tuesday, Edwin Encarnacion is the undisputed top remaining free agent. A quick rundown of notes on where the market for Encarnacion currently stands:

  • Encarnacion is likely to decide on a new club at some point within the next week, his agent Paul Kinzer told TSN’s Rick Westhead in a radio appearance Tuesday. At the latest, Encarnacion would sign during next week’s Winter Meetings, which run from Dec. 4 to Dec. 8 outside of Washington, D.C.
  • The Astros are a potential option for Encarnacion, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, though SB Nation has been unable to confirm that the sides are close to agreement at this time. Unconfirmed reports swirled on Twitter late Tuesday night that Encarnacion was headed to Houston, though again, nothing has been confirmed.

    Houston is known to be very aggressive in its search for offensive help this winter, and reportedly made a serious run at Cespedes before he agreed to terms with New York. The Astros have already acquired Brian McCann and Josh Reddick this offseason, and are still involved in talks with Carlos Beltran, according to a source.
  • The ongoing CBA talks are a factor for a few teams in their pursuit of Encarnacion, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The sides have until 12:01 a.m. Thursday to hammer out a new deal, which would bring clarity to teams looking to spend big in free agency this winter on items such as the luxury tax threshold.
  • The Blue Jays have shown Encarnacion "the most love," according to Kinzer, speaking to Westhead, though it is unclear if they are the favorite. Per Kinzer, two clubs have extended "serious" offers to Encarnacion and three are waiting on the CBA before making formal offers. Toronto is also expressing interest in Beltran, free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler and Mets trade candidate Jay Bruce, according to reports.
  • The Red Sox are unlikely to be a finalist for Encarnacion’s services, according to Rob Bradford of Boston was thought of as an early favorite, but has not been aggressive in its pursuit to this point.

Encarnacion is surely nearing a decision, and it will be one that significantly alters the offseason plans of multiple clubs. Reports have indicated that the Blue Jays, Astros, Yankees and Rangers have all had some level of interest in him, with the Red Sox being linked on a lesser scale. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a mystery team this time of year as well.