Based on the premise that Toronto should have waited for Edwin Encarnacion to make his final decision, there is much lamenting among Blue Jays fans after the slugger dropped into the price range of the Cleveland Indians.
Some thoughts on that:
1. In the end, the Blue Jays’ offer to Encarnacion was far and away the highest he received. And the player said no -- with an asking price far above what Toronto wanted to pay: $125 million over five years. The Jays took a shot, and Encarnacion said no.
2. As a Plan B, the Jays pivoted quickly to designated hitter Kendrys Morales for a three-year, $33 million. Over the past two seasons, Morales compiled these numbers while playing his home games in the cavernous Royals ballpark: an .821 OPS, 52 homers, 199 RBI. That’s pretty good production from a very good hitter, and among agents and teams, Toronto’s signing of Morales at that rate is considered to be a solid move.
3. Somehow and in some way, the Blue Jays had to balance their lineup, which was extremely right-handed. Morales, a switch-hitter, will help with that. Their first choice was to keep Encarnacion and add left-handed hitting outfielders, but once they were told they weren’t close to a deal for Encarnacion, they moved on to what they believed to be the second-best set of options. They weren’t in a position to assume that Encarnacion’s market would collapse.