Edwin Encarnacion‘s agent, Paul Kinzer, told MLB Network Radio today that Encarnacion turned down a “(Yoenis) Cespedes-type” offer from the Athletics. As you know, Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million deal with the Indians. Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million deal with the Mets.
Color me a bit skeptical that the A’s offer was literally that much bigger than the Indians’ deal, but the idea that Encarnacion turned down a bigger deal from Oakland than he accepted from the Indians is not hard to believe. The Indians are the defending AL champs, play in a more hitter-friendly park and have their core of excellent starting pitchers signed through 2019. If Encarnacion is like most players, especially most players in their 30s, a ring is his primary goal. Anything can happen in baseball, but there is no way anyone can claim that it’s more likely that the A’s will win a World Series in the next three years than the Indians will.
As far as other larger contracts, it’s been widely reported that Encarnacion was offered $80 million over four years from the Blue Jays. While not going to a new city and a team with competitive challenges on a higher offer makes some sense, whether Encarnacion made a mistake in bypassing that deal, with his most recent team, is a more interesting question. On the surface it’s easy to say “oh man, Edwin, you messed up,” but there are reports that Encarnacion and his agent did not like how the Jays handled the negotiation. Was it a misread of the market or bad blood? There’s a lot that goes into this stuff.
Either way, it’s safe to say that, even if Encarnacion could’ve made more money in Toronto or Oakland, he’s in a pretty good situation in Cleveland all things considered.