Slugger Encarnacion staying with Jays

Encarnacion would have become a free agent at the end of the season, so many in the industry had wondered if Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos would entertain thoughts of trading him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

One of this year’s biggest bats is all but officially off the trade market.

The Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday announced a three-year, $27 million contract with designated hitter/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. The deal includes annual salaries of $8 million, $9 million and $10 million over hte next three years plus a $2 million buyout on a $10 million club option for 2016.

Encarnacion would have become a free agent at the end of the season, so many in the industry had wondered if Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos would entertain thoughts of trading him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Encarnacion, 29, was viewed as an All-Star Game snub, after batting .295 with 23 home runs and 58 RBI in 83 games.

The Blue Jays enter the second half with a 43-43 record, tied with the Boston Red Sox for fourth in the American League East. They are only 2 1/2 games out in the wild card standings.

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