Encarnacion believes Blue Jays were ‘too hasty’ in free agency

Posted: 22/02/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

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For the first time since 2009, Edwin Encarnacion arrived at spring training in Arizona and not Florida.

The three-time All-Star landed in camp last week now a member of the Cleveland Indians following a whirlwind offseason that saw him ink a three-year, $60-million deal with the reigning American League champions.

The winter certainly didn’t go as anticipated for Encarnacion, who hit the market following a year in which he belted 42 home runs and a career-high 127 RBIs. What was expected to be a bidding war turned out to be far from it, as the 34-year-old’s market never really developed, and he ended up choosing between Cleveland and a reported one-year deal from the Oakland Athletics days before Christmas.

“I didn’t know free agency was going to be so challenging,” Encarnacion told Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY Sports. “There were times when I wasn’t drawing the interest I thought I would, and it got me down.”

Prior to officially hitting the open market, Encarnacion received a four-year, $80-million offer from the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite hoping to return to Toronto – a place where he spent the last eight years – Encarnacion rejected the early offer in order to field others.

Much to his surprise, however, the Blue Jays quickly moved on and inked Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33-million deal several days later.

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,” Encarnacion said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.”

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro also acknowledged his own surprise with how Encarnacion’s market developed when speaking last month, claiming that no one could have predicted how it eventually played out.

“I think there’s not an expert, not an agent, and there’s not a team that thought the market would go the way it did. Certainly not Edwin’s agent, and certainly not Edwin,” Shapiro said in January. “At the time we talked to Edwin, two weeks after we made that offer to Edwin, three weeks after we made that offer to Edwin, a month after we made that offer to Edwin, he still thought he was going to get far more dollars than what we offered and he ended up signing for less than what we offered.”

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