Standout Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is a pending free agent, and the division-rival Red Sox will have a designated hitter opening at season’s end if David Ortiz goes through with his retirement. The idea of the Red Sox signing Encarnacion in the offseason as Ortiz’s replacement has come up as a result, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the 33-year-old has some important fans in Boston. Manager John Farrell, bench coach Torey Lovullo and third base coach Brian Butterfield – all of whom were previously in Toronto – are Encarnacion supporters, which could factor into whether the BoSox pursue him. In regards to his future, Encarnacion offered, “We’ll see what’s going to happen. For now I’m with the Blue Jays and I’m just trying to contribute to us winning.”
More from Cafardo:
- Left-hander Matt Moore is the likeliest Rays starter to end up on the move, team executives believe. Having posted a 4.33 ERA, 7.58 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9 through 116 1/3 innings, the 27-year-old is drawing interest from the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, Orioles, Marlins and Rangers (notably, Rob Bradford of WEEI reported Saturday that the Rays aren’t open to dealing with division-rival Boston; the same might hold true with Baltimore and Toronto). Moore is reasonably priced via club options through 2019.
- All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy offered some possible explanations as to why the Brewers haven’t traded him yet, despite incessant rumors.“There haven’t been that many catchers who have been injured this year so that’s one reason,” he said. “Some teams think it’s tough to bring a catcher in at midseason because they have to get to know a whole new set of pitchers. That’s not a huge factor for me. And then whatever it is you have to give up.” Considering his elite two-way production and cheap control through 2017, Milwaukee should be in line for a lofty return if it finally moves the 30-year-old before the deadline.
- The Twins would willingly take a lesser return for right-hander Ervin Santana if it enables them to jettison the remainder of his $28MM salary. The Orioles and Royals, whom Santana previously pitched for, are potential fits for the 33-year-old. Santana has logged a 4.12 ERA, 6.68 K/9 and 2.58 BB/9 in 98 1/3 frames this year.
- It’s unclear if the Angels will make right-hander Matt Shoemaker available, though their stated unwillingness to rebuild makes it unlikely. The 29-year-old’s decent 4.08 ERA across 106 innings belies the dominance he has displayed since mid-May, when he rejoined the Halos after a minor league demotion. Going back to May 21, Shoemaker has amassed 88 strikeouts against nine walks in 76 1/3 frames. In his latest outing, he threw a complete game, 13-K shutout against the White Sox on Saturday. Adding to Shoemaker’s value is that he won’t make his first trip through arbitration until after the season, meaning he has four full years of team control left.
- Former big league skipper Ozzie Guillen, now a broadcaster for Latin American media outlets, would “absolutely” like another managerial job in the majors. Guillen hasn’t managed since Miami fired him in the wake of pro-Fidel Castro comments he made in 2012.