Until the final out of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2016 is recorded, the future of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will loom over this team like a dark cloud.
While this year’s squad is simply focused on winning this year, the front office is also looking beyond the 2016 season and trying to keep the Blue Jays competitive. One wonders whether that’s possible without the likes of Bautista and Encarnacion on the roster.
Many are pining for the Blue Jays to trade Bautista and Encarancion before the deadline to restock the farm system. Unless the Jays were clearly out of contention, it seems like a counterproductive move to ship off pieces from a team that’s in “win now” mode.
Not to mention, how much would the Blue Jays really get in return for two months of services from Bautista and Encarnacion. But that doesn’t mean Jose and Edwin will be Blue Jays beyond the 2016 season. This from Joel Sherman’s latest in the NY Post:
The Blue Jays have a powerful lineup even without Bautista (currently on the disabled list), in part because of the emergence of Michael Saunders. They have no intention of signing Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion long term when they are free agents after this season.
Before one questions the validity of this report, as Clint noted to me, Joel Sherman is one of the few writers who reported the Blue Jays’ initial interest in Jose Reyes months before the blockbuster trade with the Marlins.
Sherman seems like someone who’s fairly well-connected within the Blue Jays organization, as he also hinted the Blue Jays were considering a salary dump for Jose Reyes just a few years later.
Will say this #Bluejays loved Reyes but wouldn't do more 5 yrs Well, it's 5-yr pact after '12 & Tor currently trying to move Yunel Escobar
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2012
Joel Sherman seems like someone who’s fairly well-connected within the Blue Jays organization, as he also hinted the Blue Jays were considering a salary dump for Jose Reyes just a few years later.
We’ve heard about the Blue Jays’ unwillingness to re-sign Jose Bautista and Encarnacion before, but never the phrase “no intention” which essentially rules out any possibility of Jose and Edwin coming back.
The operative phrase in Sherman’s article is the Blue Jays are reportedly not interested in re-signing either Bautista or Encarnacion “long term”. A short-term deal for either player isn’t out of the question, but with Bautista reportedly asking for five years and $150 million dollars and Encarnacion looking for a three-year deal, both parties may be going their separate ways.
The season is hardly half over and a lot of things can change between now and season’s end; Jose Bautista’s asking price may suddenly come down, or perhaps the Blue Jays feel their money is better invested into someone like Edwin Encarancion.
But if the Blue Jays’ stance is already a hard “no” to bringing back Bautista or Encarnacion, it’s likely going to take a lot to change their stance on re-signing two of their most prolific sluggers.
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