Right now, trying to determine Edwin Encarnacion‘s whereabouts is like trying to find Waldo in the classic search book. Add the question of whether or not he is signing with the Houston Astros to the mix, and his time thus far in free agency has been interesting to say the least.
Depending on which source one decides to run with will depend on what is happening with Edwin Encarnacion. There are reports that he is in the Dominican Republic with his agent. There are reports that he is meeting with the Houston Astros. Denials keep coming from Encarnacion’s agent, while his whereabouts remain plausibly deniable.
Then, there are questions about whether or not Encarnacion has an offer on the table. One report says that he signed with the Astros on a five year, $115 Million contract. Other reports say that Encarnacion is set to decide between the Astros and the Yankees. And then, there is the report that the Blue Jays are showing the free agent slugger the most financial love of anyone.
So, what, exactly, is happening with Encarnacion? It is truly difficult to say at this point, as there are quite a few conflicting reports. While the various sources are of differing validity, the one thing that is certain is that, when it comes to Encarnacion, nothing is. There are no clear leaders, which is exactly what his representation should want in order to maximize his salary.
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And what for the Houston Astros in this case? They certainly have a need for Encarnacion’s bat, either at first or as a designated hitter. And they are certainly in “win now” mode, as their signing of Josh Reddick and trade for Brian McCann would indicate. Adding Encarnacion to that mix, along with their current young core, would give Houston quite the formidable lineup.
And yet, the Astros cannot afford to wait on Encarnacion to make a decision either. They are still active on Carlos Beltran, which would not preclude them from adding the former Blue Jays slugger, but he would eat into their budget. And there are other power hitters available, including former teammate Jose Bautista.
All of this leads to the question of where Encarnacion will end up. Yes, he wants to have as much interest as possible, so that he can maximize his earning potential. However, in playing the two or three teams against one another, they may find that those teams have moved in other directions. If an offer similar to that five year, $115 Million rumored deal from the Astros is on the table, it may be best to take it.
The last thing that Edwin Encarnacion would want to do is to overplay his hand. Meanwhile, for the Houston Astros and the other suitors, their patience may be running thin.