|Image courtesy of TSN.ca|
You know the old saying: if you’re indifferent about your third baseman, set him free. If he gets claimed off waivers and doesn’t come back to you, it never was. But if he comes back to you, then it was meant to be.
With that said, it looks like Edwin Encarnacion will be back as a Blue Jay after signing a one year deal to the tune of $2.5 million dollars. That’s at least $2.25 million less than the amount EE would’ve fetched in arbitration, and probably even more.
Obviously, bringing back Encarnacion wasn’t high on the priority list of the Blue Jays at the onset of the offseason, but now that the free agents and trade winds are dwindling, it looks like Alex Anthopoulos has reluctantly made a decision to give EE another shot.
It was interesting to note the team said Encarnacion would not be playing third base, and instead will split time between first base and designated hitter. While an Adam Lind/Edwin Encarnacion platoon at first base isn’t exactly the best combination for stellar defense, at least it will allow the Blue Jays a little more flexibility in the infield.
Even if EE ends up being the full-time designated hitter, I don’t really find that a cause for concern because there’s already enough power in the heart of the Blue Jays lineup anyway. Just because Encarnacion’s slotted in as designated hitter doesn’t mean he needs to hit cleanup.
Edwin’s defense leaves something to be desired, but put him on the right side of the infield and I think the damage defensively should be minimized. And if it ends up being worse than anticipated, then John Farrell has the power to take the glove out of his hand entirely and put him at DH.
Frankly, at $2.5 million for 2011 and an option for 2012, the price is right on re-signing Edwin Encarnacion. Like I said earlier this week about Lyle Overbay, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
If anything, at least we get to listen to Buck Martinez pronounce EE’s last name as “ENCARNASHEEYONE” for another season.