In a perfect world, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion both sign long-term contracts, win a World Series title, retire as Blue Jays, and have their names entered into the Level of Excellence.
But this is not a perfect world for the Blue Jays. It’s very likely that one or perhaps even both of Bautista and Encarnacion walk away as free agents at season’s end.
These guys helped legitimize the Blue Jays franchise and both players have been instrumental in the Jays’ turnaround. And in many ways, Jose Bautista’s and Edwin Encarnacion’s long and winding journey with the Blue Jays has mirrored the path the team itself has taken over the past five years.
Losing one or potentially both of them would undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Toronto Blue Jays. But it’s wise to prepare for the likelihood that Jose and Edwin won’t be back.
Insiders like Ken Rosenthal aren’t convinced the Jays have what it takes to keep both players on board. Rosenthal said this a few weeks ago on Sportsnet 590 The Fan:
“I just know that coming from Cleveland where they (Shapiro/Atkins) had to be so disciplined because of the financial restrictions they were always under, they know that investments in older players are generally speaking, not wise. That’s why I’m not convinced either of those guys (Bautista/Encarnacion) is going to be back.”
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