Edwin Encarnacion
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Report: Mariners still intend to trade Edwin Encarnación

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The Mariners acquired DH Edwin Encarnación as part of a three-team trade that involved the Indians and Rays back in December. The Indians received Jake Bauers and Carlos Santana, the Rays got Yandy Diaz and minor leaguer Cole Sulser, and the Mariners got Encarnación, cash, and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

After winning 89 games last season, the Mariners held a fire sale, trading James Paxton to the Yankees; Alex Colomé to the White Sox; Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets; and Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio, and James Pazos to the Phillies. According to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, Encarnación could be next. The club informed him of its intention to move him after bringing him to Seattle and it seems that is still the case.

Encarnación, 36, has one year remaining on his contract at $20 million along with a 2020 club option worth $20 million with a $5 million buyout. Last season with the Indians, he hit .246/.336/.474 with 32 home runs and 107 RBI in 579 plate appearances. The Mariners could pounce on an opportunity if a 1B/DH type on another team suffers an injury during spring training.

Until the Mariners do move Encarnación, he will be the main DH and occasional first baseman with Jay Bruce, Ryon Healy, Domingo Santana, and Dan Vogelbach backing up at those positions. GM Jerry DiPoto said, “Edwin Encarnación is proven productivity. He’s gonna play on a regular basis and hopefully be a staple in that lineup that we can grow around.”

DiPoto added, “And with Vogey and Ryon Healy, both of them are still young players with a chance to grow and move forward. It will be a challenge to see how we can balance the at-bats. But there will be a rotation that we use. As we get into the season, we’ll figure out what that is.

One thing that I’ve learned over three decades in baseball is that while you think you may have depth in a certain area, it often doesn’t work out that way. We’ll let spring training — and as we move toward the regular season — tell us a story about the best way to use our player.”

Corey Kluber removed from his rehab game

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Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.

Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.

It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.