The odds of Edwin Encarnacion returning to the Blue Jays continue to get better and better. The New York Yankees have signed Matt Holliday to a 1 year, $13 million contract, just one day after Carlos Beltran headed to the Houston Astros. Both teams were a rumoured destination for Encarnacion, but these signings could very well take them out of the running.
Holliday, 36, posted a .246/.322/.461 batting line last season, belting 20 home runs in just 110 games. Although these are respectable numbers, this represented a down year for the veteran slugger, and the Yankees will be counting on a bounce-back of sorts. With Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran gone from the Bronx, the Yankees had a clear need for a big bat for the middle of their lineup.
Greg Bird figures to start at first base for the team to start the season, so the Yankees appear to be out on the Encarnacion front:
Holliday will DH offer some 1b insurance for Bird. Means #Yankees are out on Encarnacion.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 5, 2016
In addition, insiders around baseball are speculating that a return to Toronto could be his best option, as the Texas Rangers do not appear to be heavily interested in Edwin:
Initial offer by #BlueJays to Encarnacion - four years, $80M - was taken off table. But if #Yankees, #Rangers aren't heavy on EE...— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2016
If one thing is for sure, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on the Encarnacion market during the winer meetings:
Encarnacion's agt Paul Kinzer said talks have intensified since CBA agreed upon, says likely deal gets done at Winter Meetings.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 4, 2016
Rangers, Jays still in play for Edwin Encarnacion. Plus, 2 NL teams have now called. (he's solid at 1B)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 5, 2016