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.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.