Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion hasn’t played since July 5 due to a right quadriceps strain and now his absence appears likely to stretch into August.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said this morning Encarnacion suffered “a minor setback” while swinging a bat yesterday in Florida. While a return previously appeared possible within the next few days, there’s now no set timetable for his return. Since he has almost missed a month at this point, the Blue Jays might prefer to have him play a minor league rehab game or two before coming off the disabled list.
Encarnacion, 31, is batting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI over 88 games this season. The Blue Jays are 7-8 since he hit the shelf.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.