The Blue Jays and 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion had preliminary contract extension cards early in spring training, but the two sides weren’t able to make much progress before the regular season began. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the two sides may revisit extension talks at the All-Star break, but adds that it doesn’t seem likely Encarnacion would forego free agency.
Encarnacion, 33, has been one of the game’s premier power hitters since the 2012 season. Since the beginning of that season, he has swatted 153 home runs in 2,520 plate appearances, an average of nearly 40 home runs per 650 plate appearances. He and Jose Bautista have arguably been the most feared 3-4 punch in any lineup.
Encarnacion is earning $10 million this season after the Jays exercised their club option in November. It’s the final year of what turned out to be a four-year, $39 million contract signed in July 2012.
HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.
Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.
With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.
Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.
The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.
The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.