The idea that Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista will re-sign with the Blue Jays is slowly thinning away. Every Blue Jay fan is asking themselves: What are the odds of them returning? To find that answer, let’s look at it with some common sense.
During Spring Training, Edwin Encarnacion expressed that he did not want to negotiate a contract until the conclusion of the season. Fast forward, and Edwin has had an very impressive season; therefore he is going to be worth a lot more money. The Blue Jays extended a primary offer of ‘around’ $80-million, which he turned down. Many baseball analysts believe that, should the Blue Jays have extended the offer to Encarnacion before the season, he would have excepted it. $80-million is a lot of money, especially for a player like Edwin who is approaching retiring age. Plus, he is known to be a guy that doesn’t like big changes. With Edwin turning down the offer, the Blue Jays made a bold move and signed Kendrys Morales to a 3-year $33 million deal. Since both Morales and Edwin are both designated hitters, where would Edwin fall in the batting order, if he were to return?
If Edwin does not have any intention of returning and the Blue Jays don’t intend on re-signing him why don’t they just say it?
In baseball, it is illegal for an organization to openly admit they do not plan on resigning a player, because it affects the Player’s value in the market. The Player is advised to not openly deny interest in a team because, again it would hurt their value on the market. Teams will pay more money if they know there is a lot of interest from other teams. Therefore, Ross Atkins and Edwin alongside his agent are continuing to show interest in re-signing him, but the chances are extremely slim.
What about Jose Bautista?
Jose had himself a decent , if not disappointing, season. Unlike Edwin, who has the possibility of resigning, the focus on Bautista has been limited, as it is less likely he will return. There is a lot of money already being spent on the Blue Jays pitching; $45.4 million to be exact on the five man starting rotation. Then there is the deal with Morales and the $22 million contract of Cuban prospect Lourdes Gurriel. They also need to find a replacement for Brett Cecil in the form a lefty reliever, and if they want a good one, it will cost excessive amounts of money. They also need corner outfielders.
Its hard to assume how much money Rogers and the Blue Jays plan on spending towards its players, but one thing is sure: The only clear way that Bautista and Encarnacion are coming back is if their markets collapse; and there is no indication pointing towards that.