Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Curios Case Of Edwin Encarnacion

There are so many topics to cover, so I chose to start here. Mostly, it's because I have an irrational fondness for the man who has become known as "E5."

He is definitely a non-tender candidate after the season-and-a-bit that he's had here in Toronto, but let's delve into things a bit deeper:

Despite playing in only 96 games this season, he managed to post a 1.8 WAR. (Fangraphs values his contributions at $7.2 Mill, which more than justifies his contract)

His 21 HR, pro-rated over 150 games (Which most hitters are able to start) could have been as high as 33.

For the 2008 Reds, he managed ot post a 1.9 WAR, which was his last season of full health as a starter.

Also of relevance is the fact that he will only be 28 next season. A fact that many people miss because he has been around the league for so long already.

As for his obvious shortcomings:

At third base, his defense is a boat anchor to his value. He has never had a positive UZR in his career at third. He hasn't hit for much of an average as a Blue Jay, but hit .289 with the 2007 Reds, so there is potential. He also doesn't take a walk.

So, what do the Jays do with him? He would likely get a modest raise if he is tendered a contract, somwhere in the $5-6 Mil range, which would be too large of a risk.

But, what if they non-tender him, and then bring him back at a more reasonable salary? If he would accept something like Jose Bautista's 2010 salary of $2.4M?

He has the flexibility to play 1B as well, or he could DH as Lind learns the trade at first. I hope that the Jays staff takes a serious look at bringing EE back for one more try.


  1. actually, I wonder if they couldn't make the same sort of agreement with him they made with JB last winter - i.e. offer him a salary identical to his 2010 salary.

    it's true he brought a lot more offensive value than people realize but I DON'T think it's a slam dunk that he'd get much of a raise in arbitration because you can't really paper over the defensive issues.

    the only flaw i see here is that with Beltre being the only good hitter who's a free agent 3B, he might call their bluff and WANT to be non-tendered figuring he'd make more on the market than what he made this year.

  2. Won't take a walk??? 9% career rate is pretty decent.