The latest on Toronto:
- The Blue Jays continue to monitor and stay in touch with free agent first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. Encarnacion’s preference is to re-sign with the Jays, but he’s talking less with them than he is with other teams, per Heyman. Notably, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins expressed pessimism Wednesday about re-upping Encarnacion. While the 33-year-old’s market has seemingly shrunk in the past week, agent Paul Kinzer isn’t worried that Encarnacion will have difficulty securing a sizable contract – whether with the Jays or another team. “Not only is he the best player in this class, he’s one of the best in baseball,” Kinzer told Heyman. “We’re going to be fine. He and I are patient. He’s good” (Twitter links here).
- Having lost left-handed setup man Brett Cecil to the Cardinals, the Blue Jays are on the hunt for a southpaw reliever, leading to interest in Jerry Blevins, Mike Dunn and Javier Lopez, report Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Shi Davidi. However, the contracts given to Cecil (four years, $30.5MM) and fellow lefty Marc Rzepczynski (two years, $11MM) have perhaps driven up the prices for Blevins, Dunn and Lopez, meaning the Jays could scour the trade market for a cheaper option than free agency offers, Nicholson-Smith and Davidi observe.
- Along with Chris Iannetta, fellow free agent catchers Bobby Wilson and Geovany Soto are on Toronto’s radar, write Nicholson-Smith and Davidi. The Blue Jays are looking for someone to back up Russell Martin, whose 2016 reserves – Josh Thole and Dioner Navarro – are also on the open market.