Edwin Encarnacion’s 2012 Option

About three months ago, it sure seemed like it was time for the Blue Jays to give up on Edwin Encarnacion. He wasn’t hitting and he certainly couldn’t handle third base. At the beginning of June, he had a season line of .247/.270/.349 and given that he had committed eight errors in just 16 starts at third, it wasn’t enough.

Edwin

Since then, Encarnacion has been one of the most productive hitters in Toronto’s lineup. He has a .292/.368/.530 line with 14 homers in what amounts to a half season’s worth of playing time. It’s the kind of production GM Alex Anthopoulos envisioned when he re-signed Encarnacion last winter and it could be enough for the Blue Jays to bring the 28-year-old back in 2012.

Before the season, Anthopoulos liked Encarnacion enough to suggest he had “one more gear in there” and a shot at a 30-homer season. Encarnacion won’t reach 30 homers, but he did show the Jays that he’s capable of raising his game.

Every player, including Albert Pujols, goes through bad months. But two-month long slumps can’t be written off; they’re part of a player’s season. So when the Blue Jays decide whether Encarnacion’s worth $3MM and a roster spot next year ($3.5MM option, $500K buyout), they’ll consider his entire year. 

With four weeks to go, Encarnacion has a .276/.335/.466 season line. He hasn't appeared at third since July and even though he plays first semi-regularly, he's essentially a designated hitter. The average DH has a .265/.340/.429 line this year, so Encarnacion boasts above-average power for the position despite his modest total of 15 home runs.

Encarnacion has established himself as a powerful, positionless player who’s especially productive against left-handers. It’s not far off of the Marcus Thames prototype, but Encarnacion has probably earned himself another shot in Toronto with these past three months. 

For a net cost of $3MM I expect the Blue Jays to exercise the option (especially since he doesn't project as a ranked free agent). At worst, Encarnacion becomes a bench weapon against left-handed pitching. At best, he keeps producing the way he has since June and remains a bargain DH for another year.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.


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47 Comments on "Edwin Encarnacion’s 2012 Option"


yazpik
3 years 11 months ago

Blue Jays won´t pick his option, he´s really bad at third, he can´t hit breaking balls, he can´t take a walk, lots of K´s, in the FA market will be better options in my opinion, at least Peña, Vladi, Berkman , Fielder,…

jeffdg
3 years 11 months ago

He will be a Type B Free Agent; he wont be back.

3 years 11 months ago

According to the last Elias Rankings, he’s got a way to go.  Given that most (all) of his AB’s over the last two months have come as a 1B/DH, he’s going to have to put up some extra juice to get to Type-B.  I would be shocked if they didn’t pick up the option.

3 years 11 months ago

Berkman won’t leave St. Louis to come to Canada unless Jays offer too much money. At this point, EE is probably better and more versatile than Vlad. Anyone would prefer fielder, but it is not clear whether that is part of the game plan for the Jays.   

Not sure about Carlos Pena. He offers better D at first base, but he is not clearly getting you more offense for you dollar.

Greg Munster
3 years 11 months ago

I’ve always liked Edwin and have been rooting for him for a while (since he was brought up with the Reds). It’s good to see him having a good few months and I hope he can keep it up. He used to show flashes of brilliance at 3rd… until the routine grounder came his way when he had time to think. I haven’t seen him play much since he’s been a Jay, just watched his box scores but I would have thought him at 3B or in LF, he’d been productive (but… a certain Bautista is in Left…)

Now…. Let see if the Reds can meet up with the Jays in a Votto / Bautista swap and let Edwin take over in Left, while Joey takes over first.

Devern Hansack
3 years 11 months ago

Except Bautista primarily plays RF.

Greg Munster
3 years 11 months ago

ya… you’re right… my bad.

jeffdg
3 years 11 months ago

He will be a Type B Free Agent; he wont be back.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 11 months ago

Bautista and Votto swap?

You’re delusional. Why would Jays give up MVP type player who plays RF to get MVP type player who plays 1B.

1B is extremely easy to find good production from. Fielder, Pujols will be available from FA without giving up any players.

chico65
3 years 11 months ago

C’mon, admit it- you just don’t like Cincinnati

3 years 11 months ago

Maybe because Votto will be 28 in September while Bautista will be 31 in October?  On top of that, neither Pujols or Fielder or ANY OTHER big name player from outside the organization will EVER sign in Toronto in the midst of their prime years again without a premium asking price they couldn’t get at home.

shockey12
3 years 11 months ago

and you base this on what?

3 years 11 months ago

AJ Burnett, BJ Ryan, Frank Thomas etc. all came only because they were offered WAY more money than they could get elsewhere.  There are also guys like Delgado, Halladay, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios that only stayed with the team because they go fat contracts they could not get elsewhere.  

Since the glory days of the Jays in the early 90’s, when they performed and bought players like the Yankees and Red Sox do now, they have not been able to sign a single big name free agent without outrageously over bidding on them.

vilifyingforce
3 years 11 months ago

I’d like to see the evidence to back up the outrageously over bidding part. Do you know the most money Halladay made in TO was 14.25? What a horrendous price to pay for the best pitcher in baseball.

3 years 11 months ago

AJ Burnett, BJ Ryan, Frank Thomas etc. all came only because they were offered WAY more money than they could get elsewhere.  There are also guys like Delgado, Halladay, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios that only stayed with the team because they go fat contracts they could not get elsewhere.  

Since the glory days of the Jays in the early 90’s, when they performed and bought players like the Yankees and Red Sox do now, they have not been able to sign a single big name free agent without outrageously over bidding on them.

3 years 11 months ago

Stay a Reds fan.

vilifyingforce
3 years 11 months ago

They’re working EE out in LF, but, he won’t see any game action their this season.

BVHjays
3 years 11 months ago

I definitely see the Jays picking up the option – it’s absolutely worthwhile value wise. Whether he ends up a starter, on the bench, or even traded next year will remain to be seen, though I’d predict as of now that he’s the Jays’ starting DH next year.

jeffdg
3 years 11 months ago

He will be a Type B Free Agent; he wont be back.

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
3 years 11 months ago

Just so I am clear, he won’t be back because he is a type B?  What if he is a type B and accepts arbitration?  Will he be back then?

johnsmith4
3 years 11 months ago

Yep….but…Jays only have to offer him $2mil one year deal….but (another one)….EE isn’t Type B and he had over 0.800 OPS in Sept 2 years ago.  Must better it this year to have a chance of moving up.

Coollet
3 years 11 months ago

Trade bait next year, keep him.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 11 months ago

Totally agree.  AA said during the Bautista signing that he means to reward good performance.  And Bautista himself is the biggest example of someone turning their game around.  I see AA giving him a chance to prove that he can continue this level of performance and depending on next year, swapping or extending him.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 11 months ago

Why Jays will pick his options:

1 – He has shown to be a better hitter than Adam Lind.
2 – He can handle 1B, if Jays decide to flip Adam Lind.
3 – His options is cheap enough to warrant some good production.

Why Jays won’t pick his options:

1 – He is Type B, declining and offering arb will get them a pick.
2 – Thames and Snider will need everyday atbats next season with LF/DH.

At the end, I think Blue Jays should pick his options and let him play out the next season. Flip him at the trade deadline if he is productive enough. I think Encarnacion is a better hitter than Adam Lind overall and Encarnacion should be considered for 1B and Adam Lind should be traded this offseason opening spots for Snider and Thames to DH/LF.

Greg Munster
3 years 11 months ago

Correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t Edwin probably accept arb and get more than 3mm? I don’t really see that happening. He hasn’t performed well enough to warrant a multi-year deal but has performed well enough to get more than 3mm through arb.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 11 months ago

Encarnacion is young and can DH/1B. I think some team might actually offer him multi year deal just like Jays did last year.

I see Oakland offering Encarnacion multi year offer if he becomes FA.

Bombastic_Dave
3 years 11 months ago

 But if he could convince another team that he can continue at this level of performance, they might be willing to pay more than $3M for him through free agency if he declines arbitration.. 

johnsmith4
3 years 11 months ago

Min qualifying offer will be $2mil….80% of his $2.5 mil salary this year.

3 years 11 months ago

That rule actually only applies to non-FA arbitration players.

johnsmith4
3 years 11 months ago

thx

tycobb
3 years 11 months ago

See ya make room for Fielder!!

johnsmith4
3 years 11 months ago

Both EE and Lind consistently have been below 2 WAR players.  It is hard to be competitive in the AL East with below 2 WAR players at 1B & DH.

These two are place holders until the real players arrive.  How and when they arrive is impossible for me to say.  Just like the 3B question we had last year.  However, I am confident Lind gets shopped around during the winter.  Otherwise, we will see a similar post on Lind in two years time when faced with the team options in his contract.

NexttoIgnore
3 years 11 months ago

Agreed – need an all-star for every position. But, there comes the wait until the cream rises. If 2012 is a development year (and likely is), then EE fits due to value.

3 years 11 months ago

at this point i think he comes back. his overall line this year would make him a decent bargain at $3.5mill. 

more than likely he is what he is at this point: a streaky power hitter and a butcher in the field, but there is still the possibility that he finally puts himself together on a consistent basis. hes worth another look i think. Hes arguably a better option than lind at 1B going forward, a decent DH or at worst a good bench bat.

all that aside, i wouldn’t say no to certain elite hitting FA 1B’s either… 

3 years 11 months ago

I’d put money down that he’s back next year. $3 Mil for what he’s capable of doing works for me. If someone steps up and he goes to the bench all the power to us. It’s sure better than paying Teahan 5+ when he can barely hit the outfield.

Bob Heshka
3 years 11 months ago

The current jays style would project them to go after someone like Yonder Alonso. I can see EE getting packaged for someone like this, more of AA style than buying big and paying for past production.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 11 months ago

2 point short. If he continues his production at this pace, he is easily type B.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 11 months ago

Something wrong with dumping Lind and have Fielder keep 1B warm until Votto comes?

3 years 11 months ago

Fielder will have an untradeable contract.

Lunchbox45
3 years 11 months ago

I still don’t get all this falsified Votto hype, its not happening. 

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 11 months ago

Hopefully as untradeable as Vernon Wells’.

Manny_Lee
3 years 11 months ago

Oakland?  You mean the team that picked him off waivers last year and then non-tendered him?  The unexpected hilariousness of your possible “multi year offer” is off the charts, well done…

ukJaysfan
3 years 11 months ago

That’s not entirely true.  Sure he’s producing, but he’s listed in the 2B/SS/3B category – so all these juicy numbers he puts up as a DH/1B aren’t doing anything until his category is switched.  

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 11 months ago

I never will get it. But midaswell feed people’s imaginations until reality sets in :)

3 years 11 months ago

video game GMing

vilifyingforce
3 years 11 months ago

On any other team.

vilifyingforce
3 years 11 months ago

Can’t afford who? Are you one those who just know the Jays can’t support a 100M payroll?