Before this month, the Blue Jays were attached to the likes of Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Justin Smoak and Edwin Encarnacion since they assessed first foundation choices. Over two weeks after, the two Tsutsugo and Smoak are off the plank, however, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets that there is mutual fascination between Toronto and Encarnacion.
A game between both sides could result in a wonderful reunion angle to market to fans in what amounts to be the next transitional season in Toronto. The Jays have inserted some arms into the pitching team in Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson and Shun Yamaguchi, but it is hard to see them completely bouncing back from last year 67-win year — even using a complete season of Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio along with the looming presence of further prospects (namely, flamethrower Nate Pearson).
Pitching has become the key focus for Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, since he pledged at the start of the offseason, but the Jays could surely match another first base/designated hitter alternative into the turning. Rowdy Tellez, 25 in March, now looks to be in line for routine at-bats on the 1B/DH carousel, but an Encarnacion reunion would definitely deepen the lineup and also deliver a stronger on-base existence into the fray than Tellez has provided in his young career (. 299 OBP in 482 plate appearances).
Encarnacion hit . 244/. 344/. 531 with 34 homers between the Mariners and Yankees last year — a powerful output that is less or more at the lines with what is come to be expected of one of baseball’s most constant sluggers. But despite his powerful bat, it feels like that he could struggle to locate suitors prepared to make supplies commensurate with his creation.
Let us take a look at his potential sector.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that six clubs, such as an NL team, have voiced interest in Encarnacion. Obviously,”curiosity” is a somewhat subjective and nebulous term without additional context, and it is somewhat difficult to discover that lots of teams using a route to a normal function for Encarnacion.
The White Sox fulfilled with his representatives (per 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine) and may really be a sensible match if they are comfy rotating Encarnacion and Jose Abreu at first base. The Blue Jays match is reasonable, also. The Rangers make some feel also, but registering Encarnacion basically devotes to playing either him or Shin-Soo Choo from the area on a daily basis. It is not a terrible position, however, especially given the continuous production provided by the two.
The remainder of the AL West contains three groups together with firmly set 1B/DH choices (A’s, Astros, Angels) and the other that traded Encarnacion off in 2019 and only signed its optimistic first baseman of the future to some long-term bargain (Mariners, Evan White).
Over from the Central, it does not look likely that rebuilding nightclubs in Kansas City or Detroit will invest aggressively. The Twins have Nelson Cruz, that did not play with an inning of protection at 2019, in DH. They would want to dedicate to fulltime first foundation repetitions for Encarnacion, which appears improbable. The Indians, like the Mariners, have exchanged Encarnacion from the last calendar year. Additionally they already have Carlos Santana and July acquisition Franmil Reyes from the combination.
From the AL East, the Yankees may choose to maintain their DH slot available to assist rotate their corner outfielders, while Luke Voit and Mike Ford are choices at first base. The Rays only signed Tsutsugo and possess a crowded 1B/DH blend. We all know the Orioles are not very likely to invest on any noteworthy free agent. The Red Sox have J.D. Martinez entrenched at DH and also an opening at first base. However, as is true concerning the Twins or some other NL club, it is a little hard to view Encarnacion as a regular first baseman in his era -37 year old. He has never played 700 innings at first base in a year.
The Blue Jays, White Sox and Rangers seem like the most effective on-paper matches for Encarnacion, which makes the mutual interest between the slugger and Toronto all the more noteworthy.