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.