Edwin Encarnacion
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Three teams are interested in Edwin Encarnación


There’s been a bit of speculation concerning designated hitter Edwin Encarnación since he came over to the Mariners in a three-team trade earlier this month. While it initially looked as though the club might flip him at the 2019 trade deadline, growing interest might force a trade even earlier. Jon Morosi of MLB Network revealed that the Rays, White Sox, and Astros have recently “shifted their focus” to the veteran slugger, though nothing concrete appears to be settled just yet.

Encarnación, of course, played his best years in Toronto before inking a three-year, $60 million deal with the Indians in advance of the 2017 season. While he no longer hits career-high marks at the plate, the 35-year-old proved a strong contender in Cleveland and finished his most recent campaign batting .246/.336/.474 with 32 home runs, an .810 OPS, and 1.0 fWAR across 579 plate appearances in 2018.

Encarnación isn’t the only name being bandied about, however, and may not even be the most attractive option for teams looking to boost their DH options this winter. Morosi adds that the Rays, White Sox, and Astros are also rumored to be “involved” in talks for Cardinals infielder José Martínez, who will get edged out of his first base spot once Paul Goldschmidt takes over in 2019. Martínez, 30, slugged a robust .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 PA in 2018; perhaps more importantly, he’s still under team control through 2022, a definite plus compared to the $20 million due Encarnación in 2019 (to say nothing of the $25 million option and $5 million buyout he holds for the 2020 season).

Rays place Austin Meadows on 10-day injured list with thumb sprain

Austin Meadows
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Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.

Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.

Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.

In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.