The draft pick forfeiture that is attached to Edwin Encarnacion has been hampering his market, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark. The lack of a draft pick attached to Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday made them more attractive short-term options for the Astros and Yankees, and Stark calls Encarnacion a “textbook case for why the union made eliminating first-round draft-pick compensation such a top priority” in the recent CBA negotiations.
Here’s the latest on Encarnacion’s market…
- Toronto’s signing of Steve Pearce “certainly” spells the end of Encarnacion’s time in Toronto, tweets Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. On paper, it’s possible to see Pearce, Encarnacion, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak coexisting on the same roster, but certainly there’s some redundancy there.
- The Indians have checked in on Encarnacion, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Cleveland definitely has a need at first base with Mike Napoli hitting free agency, and Encarnacion could split time there and at DH with Carlos Santana. However, financial constraints are always a factor for the Indians, and while they’re coming off a deep World Series run, spending at the likely levels that are necessary to sign Encarnacion would represent a significant departure from past tendencies for Cleveland.
- ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Rangers are also a team to watch on Encarnacion, noting that GM Jon Daniels has a history of acting opportunistically when a player’s market changes. Bowden, too, calls Cleveland a sleeper team in the Encarnacion sweepstakes. He also floats the idea of Encarnacion following the path of Yoenis Cespedes from last winter: signing a three-year deal with a high annual value and an opt-out clause after the first year. Of course, the difference in age between Cespedes and Encarnacion is notable; Cespedes re-entered the free-agent market in advance of his age-31 season, while Encarnacion would be doing so prior to his age-35 campaign.