The plot thickens in the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, as the Houston Astros have opted for a short-term option at the designated hitter position. As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tells us, Beltran's deal is for 1 year, $16 million. The 39 year old is well known in Houston for his incredible performance in the 2004 playoffs.
Lookout for the Astros next season, as the team boasts plenty of big bats: Beltran, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Alex Bregman. Add in depth options such as A.J. Reed, Nori Aoki, Evan Gattis, and Yulieski Gurriel, and you have a recipe for a ton of offence.
It's tough to imagine the Astros being major players in the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes after the signing of Beltran. The New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox could all use help at DH, but there's plenty of quality options available on the market. I'll predict that Encarnacion ultimately lands with the New York Yankees, and that it takes around a $100M guarantee.
A one year commitment to Beltran seems like a smarter bet than a three year commitment to Kendrys Morales. With so many hitters on the market, the Morales signing is one of the more questionable moves of this offseason.
In other news around the league, Derek Norris was traded to the Washington Nationals yesterday, erasing my top target to be Toronto's backup catcher. Also, Marc Rzepczynski signed a 2 year, $11 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. If left-handed relievers are going to be this expensive, I'd like to see the Blue Jays bring in some cheaper options, and spend the money elsewhere.