The Blue Jays are pushing to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion before he begins speaking to other clubs, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. While the sides are not currently close to a deal, Toronto has given Encarnacion “something to think about” before he hits the open market fully.
Despite this reported progress, Encarnacion’s agent, Paul Kinzer told TSN that he expects a robust market for his client, who could draw interest from as many as 11 teams. The Red Sox, who are looking for a bat to replace David Ortiz this winter, have been linked to Encarnacion for most of the year, while other teams will surely get involved as the process evolves. Rosenthal adds the Rangers and Astros as other potential suitors.
Kinzer said that Encarnacion is seeking a 5-year deal in the $125 million range, which is not all that crazy considering his client is one of the two top free agents available this winter alongside Yoenis Cespedes. Toronto has expressed a desire to re-sign Encarnacion and fellow free agent Jose Bautista this winter, and appear to be making a serious run at the first half of that tandem.