Blue Jays sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion "both envision the Red Sox as a possible winter landing spot," according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports Network. Both players will be free agents after the season.
Boston could be in the market for a slugger if designated hitter David Ortiz follows through with his plan to retire, though the plan before the season was to shift first baseman Hanley Ramirez to the DH role for next year. Ramirez has played well at first while Travis Shaw has manned third base, though the potential return of Pablo Sandoval next season creates a logjam that may not allow for the addition of Bautista or Encarnacion.
Heyman reports that Bautista is seeking a 5-year, $150 million deal in free agency, and that Encarnacion is seeking a 4-year deal. While both have expressed a willingness to return to Toronto, the Jays are unlikely to be able to retain both aging sluggers.
Bautista, who turns 36 in October, and Encarnacion, who turns 34 in January, will surely be big risks for teams looking for power on the free-agent market this winter. The lackluster free agent market this winter, however, may dictate that each player's new deal meets their current high demands.