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.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.