Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who’s yet to play in a game this spring due to a dental issue, has now been shut down for at least a week with a strained oblique muscle.
Toronto manager John Gibbons told Greg Zeck of MLB.com that “it’s minor, but those things can turn into bad things if you don’t watch it.” There’s now some doubt about Encarnacion being healthy for Opening Day, although Gibbons insists “he’s one guy that probably doesn’t need as many at-bats” to be ready.
Encarnacion is a huge and perhaps somewhat underrated part of the Blue Jays’ scary lineup, hitting .277 with 39 homers and a .929 OPS in 146 games last season and averaging 38 homers with a .919 OPS from 2012-2015.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.