Rosenthal: Blue Jays have competition for Encarnacion in Boston, Texas, Houston

The Blue Jays slugger is rumoured to be seeking $125 million over five years in free agency

Edwin Encarnacion‘s market is beginning to unfold with the starting bell of free agency, and as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports this morning, the Blue Jays have a trio of American League rivals among their early competition for his services.

This comes on the heels of a report from TSN’s Rick Westhead that Encarnacion and his agent are seeking a five-year, $125 million contract. Though the fifth year could prove problematic for some teams, the $25 million annual value is conceivable given his value. On Monday evening, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi added that the Blue Jays were “making a push”.

Boston’s potential interest in the Dominican slugger has already become an exhausted storyline with the retirement of David Ortiz, and frankly, the team and financial fits do make a good deal of logical sense.

Houston and Texas are particularly interesting, however, as both clubs could view Encarnacion as their “missing piece”. The Rangers are now without Prince Fielder, who was forced into early retirement due to injury this past season, and Carlos Beltran, who enters free agency after serving as their designated hitter for the playoff run. Money is often a very flexible concept for the Rangers.

The Astros are coming off an 84-78 season and are looking to continue building around star second-baseman Jose Altuve. Houston will also have Cuban third-baseman Yulieski Gurriel in a full capacity next season after signing him to a five-year, $47.5 million deal in 2016. Along with Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Evan Gattis, Encarnacion’s bat would further strengthen a powerful lineup.

With a declined qualifying offer attached to his name, the Blue Jays would be entitled to draft pick compensation should Encarnacion sign elsewhere in this free agent period.

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