There’s a rumor that the Blue Jays slugging pair of Bautista & Encarnacion “envision” Boston as a major player in their own free agency.
Now that the season has started and we are focused solely on the game being played and the results that come from said games, we seem to have let story lines from Spring Training die a bit. Of course, the mainstay of spring talk around Dunedin was the contract situation of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Well, like any juicy bit of narrative, some thing refuse to die.
Jon Heyman, writing for Today’s Knuckleball, uses his “insider” powers to stir up some more reactions. According to Heyman, the slugging duo “envision the Red Sox as a possible winter landing spot”. It wouldn’t be so bad if he said that the Red Sox are a ‘logical fit’, which is standard practice when writing these type of tidbits. But, to say that both guys see themselves as being lured by Boston is adding another layer to the rumor. Heyman does not offer any quote from either potential free agent, so perhaps we can take solace in that.
What he does mention is that if David Ortiz does indeed go through with his retirement, the Blue Jays’ pair make a lot of sense. He also implies that the contract demands from both are too hefty for Mark Shapiro & co. He quotes the 5yr/$150M request of Bautista and the 4 years from Encarnacion. As well, he mentions that the Blue Jays offered 2 years to Edwin, which certainly does indicate a seemingly pessimistic outlook for negotiations. But, it seems that Heyman is working off info that is dated and using it to force this idea.
And, it is an idea that could be believable. Let’s assume you believe the idea that the Blue Jays and the players really are that far apart on an agreement. The numbers for each guy at Fenway Park certainly are good enough to convince you that each would desire a change. Bautista is a career .274 hitter with 22 HR at Fenway. For his part, Encarnacion has hit .297 with 13 HR. We know they love that Green Monster. So, sure, this might make sense.
But, it depends on a lot of things. Boston would need to figure out what they’re going to do with Pablo Sandoval and his hefty…contract. And, if they bring even one, let alone both, of these guys in, what does that mean for Hanley Ramirez, who is settling in at first base in Beantown. And, would the Red Sox even want to take on such a commitment with so much money on the books already? They do have a great crop of young, affordable talent that they could be willing to risk it. Or, they could be so happy with their young talent that they decide to avoid bringing on aging players who are more valuable to the Blue Jays than anyone else.
Jose Bautista recently said that he would be “stupid” to leave Toronto. Whether he would or not, he has to have other ideas on the back burner. He doesn’t need to have them at the hot and ready just yet. But, as he and Edwin are both 10-5 guys, they will likely ride out the 2016 season and look to all burners to decide their future. Let’s just hope that this current trip to Boston hasn’t helped them envision themselves playing for the Red Sox. Watching them leave via free agency might be bad enough. Watching them play against the Blue Jays would be downright depressing.
*Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.