A's being in the running for Edwin Encarnacion makes sense

BY Fansided and Jennifer Rainwater/FanSided via White Cleat Beat • December 16, 2016

Surprisingly, the Athletics may be in the running to sign former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported Thursday night that the Athletics may be in play to sign 34-year-old Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion had been expected to be one of the first signings for teams that could use a big bat. He is still young enough to sign a multi-year deal but now it looks as though the market could be collapsing underneath him.

He may have to settle for a one year deal or a lower offer on a multi-year deal.

    Part of the reason for this is likely due to the fact that he rejected a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays, meaning that any team that signs his will have to give up their top draft]pick in order to sign him.

    Giving up a draft pick would impact the A’s much less than some of the other interested teams like the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians.

    The A’s have the sixth pick in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft. The top ten picks in the draft are protected so the A’s would only be giving up their next pick in the draft which they were recently awarded in the Competitive Balance round.

    It’s the 33rd overall pick in the draft, which is a good place for the A’s to be in, having two first round draft picks, but it also allows them the flexibility to sign a player like Encarnacion without giving up their top pick in the draft.

    Many teams shy away from giving up their top draft pick and if the Athletics were to sign Encarnacion, it would be something that they wouldn’t have to worry about.

    Edwin Encarnacion. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Oakland also has a history of signing aging sluggers (although Encarnacion is a couple years younger than their usual targets) to one year deals.

    The best example being Hall of Famer Frank Thomas who helped take the A’s to the American League Championship Series in 2006. He also returned to the A’s on a one year deal in 2008.

    However, it’s currently unclear whether the A’s may be considering offering one-year or a multi-year deal to the former Blue Jay.

    Despite the fact that there is a multi-year mistake that the A’s they are literally still paying for, which may make them weary of a multi-year deal, it’s still a possibility.

    Giving three years and 30 million to Billy Butler, who was released near the end of the 2016 season, less than two years into his three-year deal was the mistake. However, Butler was never the player that Encarnacion is.

    He was already seemingly declining in his last season with the Kansas City Royals, making the A’s decision to sign him for three seasons puzzling to say the least.

    Khris Davis. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Encarnacion on the other had was one of the best sluggers in the league last season, leading the league with 127 RBI and hitting the same number of long balls as A’s slugger Khris Davis with 42.

    The A’s still have Butler’s money on their books, which isn’t good for a team that is already strapped for cash, is trying to build a new stadium and hasn’t, at least in recent memory, signed a big name player like Encarnacion.

    Yet, there is still more reasons that Encarnacion makes sense for Oakland.

    He would very likely be a big hit with the fanbase, a fanbase that has been dwindling and that the Athletics are desperately trying to rebuild as they continue their search for a site for their new stadium.

    Plus, Encarnacion can still play first base, meaning the right-hander could easily platoon with A’s left-handed hitting Yonder Alonso, making him even more valuable and allowing two-time all-star catcher, veteran Stephen Vogt more time as the team’s designated-hitter.

    Signing Encarnacion actually makes quite a bit of sense for the A’s with the only downfall being whether or not they can make a big enough offer that Encarnacion will accept.

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