Edwin Encarnacion was the biggest loser from the Winter Meetings. Now that the Major League Baseball winter meetings have wrapped up, a flurry of stories have emerged. These stories are identifying winners and losers, who came out with the best deals and who came out with the worst.
Winners range from the Chicago White Sox to the Miami Marlins. Losers range from the Washington Nationals to the Pittsburgh Pirates. What seems to be overlooked, at least by the majority of the sports news outlets, is that this one player seems to have been a bigger loser at these winter meetings, than any entire team.
The Toronto Blue Jays offered Encarnacion, a power-hitting 1B/DH, a deal worth $80 million over four years. This offer, which occurred before free agency kicked off, was rejected by the 33-year-old Dominican slugger. While he is, admittedly, one of the best 1B/DH options on the market, it will be highly unlikely that Encarnacion lands a deal equaling what the Blue Jays were offering. When denying the proposed deal, he had teams like the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies still on the hunt to fill needs at the plate.[embedit snippet=”1″]
Now that those teams have moved on, Encarnacion is finding his list of potential destinations slowly shrinking.
At this point in the offseason, he may very well be regretting his decision to not accept the Blue Jays offer.
There is still hope for Edwin Encarnacion, as the Cleveland Indians have recently been rumored to be eyeing the right-handed, three-time All-Star. With Mike Napoli’s contract ending with the 2016 season, the Indians are in need of someone who can be the designated hitter and occasional first baseman. The one-year deal to get Napoli to Cleveland was a success, as the club did make it to the World Series. Resigning him could very well happen.
However, there are other suitors for Napoli. He is a well-liked player, and definitely brings something to the game. Jon Heyman reported at the end of November that Napoli’s former teams were all interested in having a reunion with him. The Boston Red Sox, the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians were all looking at a potential offer to the 35-year-old. Even the New York Yankees and Houston Astros had interest at the time.
As other Winter Meetings signings took place, and other moves were made, teams filled their needs and left both Napoli and Encarnacion on the table. With the popularity that Mike Napoli seems to have across Major League Baseball, he may very well have a home before Edwin Encarnacion. If that were to happen, then Encarnacion would look like silly for not taking that $80 million when he had the chance.
In fact, if he remains a free agent for too much longer, his value may decrease. The Toronto Blue Jays may just get their man at a lower cost than they were prepared to spend before. Even the Cleveland Indians could land him for less than his original offer.
Edwin Encarnacion needs to find a home, before his value plummets.