Edwin Encarnacion‘s agent, Paul Kinzer, told MLB Network Radio today that Encarnacion turned down a “(Yoenis) Cespedes-type” offer from the Athletics. As you know, Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million deal with the Indians. Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million deal with the Mets.
Color me a bit skeptical that the A’s offer was literally that much bigger than the Indians’ deal, but the idea that Encarnacion turned down a bigger deal from Oakland than he accepted from the Indians is not hard to believe. The Indians are the defending AL champs, play in a more hitter-friendly park and have their core of excellent starting pitchers signed through 2019. If Encarnacion is like most players, especially most players in their 30s, a ring is his primary goal. Anything can happen in baseball, but there is no way anyone can claim that it’s more likely that the A’s will win a World Series in the next three years than the Indians will.
As far as other larger contracts, it’s been widely reported that Encarnacion was offered $80 million over four years from the Blue Jays. While not going to a new city and a team with competitive challenges on a higher offer makes some sense, whether Encarnacion made a mistake in bypassing that deal, with his most recent team, is a more interesting question. On the surface it’s easy to say “oh man, Edwin, you messed up,” but there are reports that Encarnacion and his agent did not like how the Jays handled the negotiation. Was it a misread of the market or bad blood? There’s a lot that goes into this stuff.
Either way, it’s safe to say that, even if Encarnacion could’ve made more money in Toronto or Oakland, he’s in a pretty good situation in Cleveland all things considered.
The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.
d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.
Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.