Oakland continues to be the busiest team of the early offseason, as the A’s claimed 27-year-old third baseman Edwin Encarnacion off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos indicated last month that Encarnacion was a candidate to be non-tendered after hitting .244/.305/.482 in 367 plate appearances while missing nearly half the season with a wrist injury.
Toronto decided to clear him off the 40-man roster ahead of time and Oakland snatched him up, although Encarnacion may still end up being a non-tender candidate because the $6 million or so he’d likely command via arbitration is pretty steep for a poor defensive third baseman with a .790 career OPS.
However, general manager Billy Beane has made it clear that the A’s are looking for some right-handed power and for all hits faults Encarnacion certainly fits that bill. He isn’t much with the glove and has a .258 batting average in six seasons, but he’s also smacked 25 homers per 550 at-bats and went deep 21 times in just 332 at-bats this season.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.