It’d be odd for the A’s to be into one of the top free agents on the market or for one of the top free agents on the market to be interested in the A’s, but Encarnacion’s market has sort of cratered lately. He might be a bargain for them and they may be a soft landing place for him. Especially if he’s fine foregoing any no-trade protection, allowing the A’s to flip him at some point. It’s also worth noting that the A’s finished with one of the 10 worst records in 2016, meaning that they wouldn’t have to surrender a first-round pick if they signed Encarnacion.
Speculation only now. And, given that this is a Jon Heyman report, it would not be shocking if the A’s interest were leaked by an agent in an effort to make Encarnacion’s market seem hotter than it is. It’s not crazy to imagine the A’s at least looking, however.