A’s Claim Edwin Encarnacion

The A's claimed Edwin Encarnacion off of waivers from the Blue Jays, according to the teams. The third baseman hit 21 home runs last year, more than anyone on the A's. Encarnacion batted .244/.305/.482 and reached the 20-homer plateau for the second time in his six-year career. Oakland GM Billy Beane, who acquired David DeJesus earlier in the week, continues his busy offseason search for bats.

The Blue Jays lost Encarnacion for nothing, but that's no surprise. The 27-year-old earned $4.75MM in 2010 and could have earned even more through arbitration in 2011, so he was a non-tender candidate.

Another non-tender candidate, Kevin Kouzmanoff, now faces an uncertain future in Oakland. Encarnacion has played all but nine innings of his big league career at third base, Kouzmanoff’s position. The A’s also have Conor Jackson, Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney, Jack Cust and DeJesus, so there won’t be many at bats to spare at DH. It appears that Kouzmanoff’s days in Oakland are numbered, especially since he and Encarnacion couldn't platoon (both handle lefties better than righties).

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have an opening at third base. Jose Bautista played 48 games at the hot corner in 2010, John McDonald can play third and prospect Brad Emaus has experience there, too. However, it seems likely that the Blue Jays will consider acquiring a third baseman through trades or free agency.

92 Responses to A’s Claim Edwin Encarnacion Leave a Reply

  1. Saves the Jays the trouble of non-tendering him.

    • bluejayspwn 5 years ago

      agreed, i say we make a low pickup like miguel tejada and deall him at the deadline like we did with alex gonzales

    • WiiCat 5 years ago

      Is there a penalty for non-tendering? From what I know, this move doesn’t really change anything, except getting a return for Encarnacion (MTBNL or cash).

      • briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

        Nope, I think clubs expose players to waivers in the offseason like this as it lets the players either get claimed by a club that wants them (E5) or become a free agent (Wise, Tallet) much earlier than if they had to wait to be non-tendered. Basically, it’s a courtesy to the players from management as it lets them start looking for their new contract right away. I always view it as rather classy on the parts of management.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Not the biggest E5 fan, but for some reason I have a good feeling about this.

      • not_brooks 5 years ago

        I’ll take his 2008 line in the middle of the A’s lineup. Of course, his 2008 line came from one of the best hitters parks in the NL, so…

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          I just like seeing hitters go to the pressureless AL West.

  2. pastlives 5 years ago

    weird so does this mean the A’s plan on tendering him? He was going to be a FA anyway, why would the A’s wanna put up 5M+ for him?

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      They believe in re-Encarnacion.

      • M_Harden 5 years ago

        Hahaha, nice!

      • InLeylandWeTrust 5 years ago

        Well played sir well played. I bet you’ve been saving that joke up for quite some time lol

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          Ha ha ha!….naaaah. Reincarnation (well, “reencarnación”) was just the obvious answer while responding to a guy called “pastlives!” :-p

      • Well, you just made your weekly quota of Likes.

      • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

        Best comment ever.

      • 63 likes for a comment… that’s gotta be an MLBTR record. That or some guy teeing off on the Yankees that had 50 likes or so.

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          Well don’t look now but there’s even more! :)
          Glad it’s over some good fun – not bashing (don’t we have enough of that on this board as it is?).

      • DanHaren 5 years ago

        holy, you got 63 likes!

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          And “YOU” are one of my favorite pitchers!

      • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

        wow, 107 likes! nice.

    • dizzle4 5 years ago

      I was wondering the exact same thing. I guess they’re just keep their options open for now – they could still wind up non-tendering him.

    • M_Harden 5 years ago

      They probably plan on working out a contract with Encarnacion. I’m sure he’d be willing to accept something in the neighborhood of two million a year.

      • not_brooks 5 years ago

        What’s the point though? He’s essentially the same hitter as Kouz, but nowhere near as good a defender.

        Scratch that. In a down year, E5 put up an OPS 100 points higher than Kouz.

        • he’s got a little more power (I think) and his career OBP is .336 compared to .302 for Kouz

          Not a HUGE upgrade but I just think Encarnacion is much more of a home run threat which all the A’s really need.

          • not_brooks 5 years ago

            Moving from a neutral park to a cavernous pitcher’s park is all E5 needs to knock 30 points off his SLG%…

  3. JaySchu 5 years ago

    Another marginal upgrade…

  4. Dwan 5 years ago


  5. Goodbye Kouzmanoff it seems. They’ll either trade or nontender him soon.

  6. sfarstad 5 years ago

    It’s the A’s who get the “E” on this play, in more ways than one!

  7. Dev0 5 years ago

    Or they see E5 as a LFer

    • briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

      Given that all his errors come on throws, that may not be the best idea . . .

  8. DH. Jays shoulda kept him.

    • SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

      not worth the 5 mill he would make

    • PJaysW 5 years ago

      It boggles my mind that he was never considered for the vacancy at 1B seeing as how he is an above average fielder, but probably the worst arm in the majors. He can make some incredible quick plays and ‘snap’ throws, but hit him a routine grounder and its in the dirt, ten feet to the side or airmailed. Overbay helped him on a number of occasions, but he’ll be a disaster at third without an ace for a glove at first.

      Watch out for E5, his bat could really surprise. He has such effortless power/ He’s been riddled with different injuries and missed most of spring training last year with a recovering wrist. He also spend some of the off season last year recovering from burns to his face from a fire works fight with his brother. All of that after the injury problems he had in Cincinnati.

      • Because moving him to 1B raises the standard you hold his bat against.

      • jpkinney7 5 years ago

        “he’ll be a disaster at third without an ace for a glove at first.” – Daric Barton is the best 1B in the game.

        • PJaysW 5 years ago

          i was speaking in general terms, but you’re right that if he is intended for 3B, Barton should have fun sprawling all over for E5’s junk.

  9. yankee2195 5 years ago

    I wonder who won the trade between the Reds and B-Jays involving Rolen and Encarnacion? Hmm I wonder…

    • Except….it was Rolen for Encarnacion, Roenicke (who should be a big part of the pen this year) and Zach Stewart, who is one of the Jays better prospects. Encarnacion was just a salary equalizer, not the main piece in the deal.

      • yankee2195 5 years ago

        true true, you have your point. your side makes more sense. i just wasnt thinking of the complete deal.

    • dizzle4 5 years ago

      Well the Jays got Josh Roenicke, who could turn into a good reliever, and more importantly, Zach Stewart, who is probably a top-20 pitching prospect (not overall), so it’s not as clear-cut as it seems.

    • Keith Y 5 years ago

      the reds made the jays take encarnacion if they wanted zach stewart and roenicke
      just another yankees fan trying to hate on other teams in the division

    • ju1ced 5 years ago

      I wonder if there are any Yankee fans out there that can look past their fat payrol to realize there are other teams than just them. Any ‘real’ baseball fan knows Encanacion was a throw in, in that trade, and the Jays got to very good prospects in Stewart and Roenicke. Considering Rolen didn’t want to play on the Toronto turf anymore, and was making $10M+, it was a good trade for both sides.

    • Considering Rolen asked for a trade out of town and was pretty specific in his preferred destinations, I would consider getting a replacement 3B to hold the fort along with 2 solid prospect arms a very nice return. Don’t forget it also saved the Jays 5.5m in 2010 at 3B, money they spent well on the draft and the international market. The trade was a win for both sides.

  10. Apparently the A’s decided they were getting a little TOO good at defense.

    Time to come back to the pack a bit.

  11. we did considering we still have Zach Stewart!

  12. suPaFreaK 5 years ago

    Anyone think they’re still looking for a big time bat or is it just me? Fielder, Kemp, Berkman?

  13. I guess not a bad pickup for the A’s who I guess are willing to spend money on gambles… Is he due 5mil from us then if we keep him? Or do the A’s get to renegotiate a contract?

  14. mpleau 5 years ago

    why arent the mariners picking him up. cmon jack. id say you have more than a little something to prove after last year

    • TheodoreRoosevelt 5 years ago

      To be fair, many Mariners fans have “something to prove” in that case, given the general cock-a-hoop reaction to Jack “Genius” Z’s trading last off-season 😉

  15. azdsnd 5 years ago

    Meh. He’ll be valuable enough to be worth $5MM, but just barely. It’s hard to argue with a one-year, fair-market deal for anybody, though.

  16. AJCBE 5 years ago

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t blow himself up with fireworks again.

  17. Incoming Mark Reynolds trade???

    Frees up third base so I’m thinking that either:

    A) Jays trade for Mark Reynolds and send a good SP like Rzepcynski, with prospects in return.

    B) Jays sign/trade for a big name outfielder and Bautista plays third base.

    Seems like a distinct possibility to me, although I’d appreciate a 3B incoming with a much lower strikeout rate.

    • M_Harden 5 years ago

      I’ve always wondered about this, and Rzepczenski is one of the guys I would have wanted in return. He’s a groundball specialist who could be a solid 3/4 starter in the NL. Maybe Brad Emaus as well, and Eric Thames. The Jays don’t really give up anything significant, and they get a solid third baseman in return.

    • ukJaysfan 5 years ago

      I know I’m wrong here. But with his former coach promoted to the big league staff, I could see Hechavarria promoted to the bigs early on in the season to make a DP combo with Escobar – with Aaron Hill moved to 3rd. I would argue its crazy early to promote him – but I could see it happening.

      • M_Harden 5 years ago

        That would make no sense on any level.

        • ukJaysfan 5 years ago

          Just putting out ideas. The Jays braintrust don’t exactly leave us many breadcrumbs. Can’t fault a guy for trying to find his way through the forest!

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        His bat is not ready and what’s the rush?

      • SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

        Nothing wrong here thinking outside of the box. If a player shit might happen, Escobar could move to 3rd (he’s got the arm) Hechavarria plays SS and Hill continues playing 2nd.
        Escobar could mentor Hech. That too is just a thought.
        From what i have read, Hech’s D is mlb ready, its the bat that needs some work

        • No way Yunel goes to third. He’s a short stop. Hill will go to third if anyone does, and because Adeiny hasn’t seen that much big league action and he’s still young, he, if anyone swapped positions, would go to 2B.

          • Lloyd Parsons 5 years ago

            Totally agreed, Management apparently was the one asking Hill to move over to 3B.
            Maybe the buzz floating around an O-Dawg return is correct. My guess as a 1 year deal until Hechavarria is ready. Then Escobar is moved to 2nd probably in 2012.

          • Jays4life 5 years ago

            Escobar is NOT switching to 2nd from short, Hechavarria is playing 2nd base next year. It was all over the bluejays scouting pages that he is going to be groomed for 2nd and escobar is the shortstop of the future. Things can change but until that happens Hill is pegged for 3rd sooner or later and Esco and Hech will for the shortstop/second base dou.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      I’d say nothing is likely in the plans. It was obvious E5 sucked and we didn’t want him and this gives Jays some option such as moving Bautista to 3rd and traded for an outfielder like Upton, Rasmus, Kemp, Ellsbury etc…

      Nothing is likely imminent but it gives Jays options.

  18. Dev0 5 years ago

    Or the jays are trying to get Alex Gordon which was already stated.

  19. Alex 5 years ago

    I don’t understand this from the A’s perspective, really. Is Encarnacion really that much of an upgrade over Kouzmanoff with the bat that the A’s are willing to pay more AND suffer Encarnacion’s inferior defense? Their slash lines seem pretty similar to me; Encarnacion hit a couple more homers, but had a lower AVG.

    • JaySchu 5 years ago

      It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, and neither did the DeJesus trade. Maybe Beane is taking on money simply to avoid the hassle the Marlins had last offseason with MLB and the MLPA over their too-low payroll. Maybe it’s why he gave out the Sheets deal last year too.

      • Alex 5 years ago

        I actually didn’t mind the DeJesus trade, the A’s clearly have a surplus of young pitching, and swapping some of it for an above-average outfielder just getting off a career year and still in his prime sounds like a decent deal to me.

    • The math –

      A’s need offense. A’s have defense. Edwin has offense. Edwin does not have defense.

      Edwin, while being mostly counterproductive, therefore fits the needs and surpluses of the A’s.

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        If only he could learn to throw properly, I think he would be good at defense and he did improve in the 2nd half. He’s got the range IMO but he can’t throw properly even if a ball is hit right at him.

        I don’t see why A’s made this move or Dejesus…

        • That’s weird. I’ve seen him make good throws, he never seems to make too many bad throws.

          It’s the glove that fails him. He either doesn’t get to the ball, or the ball gets through him.

          • Sniderlover 5 years ago

            Usually is but this year, he was slightly below average in UZR and UZR/150 and I don’t think that was the big problem like before but the guy can’t throw at all. Even routine plays where he has the all the time in the world but he finds a way to mess it up.

  20. not_brooks 5 years ago

    It all comes down to this: Does 100 more points in OPS outweigh the best defensive third baseman in the game?

    • AsFanDFW 5 years ago

      If he’s spending most of his time at DH and we keep Kouz, you don’t have to worry about his bad defense. He’ll just be a backup 3B.

  21. The A’s have a new plan of stockpiling thirdbasemen and based on the odds, one of them ought to be somewhat productive

  22. djskilbr 5 years ago

    I think this is a move in anticipation of dealing Kouz. In this very weak 3b market, Beane might be able to get something decent for Kouzmanoff.

  23. Alvaro Ortiz 5 years ago

    There is a LOT of hype around the A’s right now. They are very active early this off-season. I’ll definitely be watching them closely. Should be interesting.

  24. safari_punch 5 years ago

    Good riddance!

  25. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    We can all sing ‘Encarnacion’ in Nacho Libre. Search it up in youtube since mlbtr blocks links.

  26. penpaper 5 years ago

    Barton is going to have a blast playing with E5 in 2011!

    Really, this would be a good pick up if he was cheaper. There’s promise here.

  27. RepOak 5 years ago

    Seems like the A’s are the only ones making any moves right now. But they are all a little confusing. I like kouz! He is solid at 3rd and was healthy. Yes he didn’t give A’s many HR’s A’s Edwin but Oakland isn’t a hitters park. I would have gave him another shot. I hope this is just trade bait for someone else. (berkman, matsui, Ramirez). We will see but I’m likeing the way beane is being so active so far

  28. missyae 5 years ago

    Are the A’s starting up a ‘B team or something’? Kouz is the type of player Theo will go after, just watch.

  29. Kouz shouldn’t be going, and if he is, Encarnacion is most certainly not gonna be the starting 3B man. Unless you wanna see Daric Barton get injured leaping here and there trying to catch his very unpredictable throws.

  30. Encarnacion on a hitting STARVED team, w/o giving up anything, is smart move. No question. It’s what happens next that determines whether the move is the right move. There is no way this team keeps, Cust, Kouz and EE. So, until that is clear, the move is a good one. He’s still young and has pop. No reason to argue in that. In addition, if the A’s stay around a $60 MM payroll, they have about $20-$30MM to spend after getting the Chavey, Sheets and a few others off the books. I think just as the Chavey deal (long and very bad at the end) is off the books, the team is looking to work with players on 1-2 year deals (Crisp, Dejesus, etc). It will allow them to gain players w/ less risk and potentially collect supplemental picks for them when they become FA’s. The idea makes sense since they cannot play in the big boy FA market. They can stockpile these kinds of players and make trades to obtain other players. That seems to be the plan right now.

  31. RFBleacher149 5 years ago

    As an A’s fan who watched 72 games in the park this year, I can say that I’m more than ready for the Kevin Kouzmanoff era to over. His OBP was .283, which is unacceptable under any circumstances, and every time a play came to him I’d say a little prayer. I’m not sure that Encarnacion is the answer, especially since he’s a defensive downgrade, but his power numbers are very encouraging, and the A’s need all the offense they can get.

    • AsFanDFW 5 years ago

      Kouz is a terrible hitter. We all agree on that. But I think with 1 more move (Berkman) and playing the lefty/righty matchups, the A’s could have their top 6 or so batters with .750-.900 OPS. I would’nt mind having a great defensive 3B that sucks at hitting, as long as he doesn’t have to hit cleanup like he did this year.

  32. AsFanDFW 5 years ago

    I just looked at the lefty righty splits on Encarnacion and Cust. If the A’s were willing to platoon these two guys, they would have a .900 OPS DH.

  33. not_brooks 5 years ago

    Even with a .900 OPS DH, the A’s offense still sucks.

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