Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 7/13/12
The All-Star Break Takeaway Less than 14 months ago, the Blue Jays were “struggling to find a place for Edwin Encarnacion, his wounded psyche, and his glaring deficiencies.” Now, the 29-year-old has inked a three-year, $29 million extension that could keep him in Toronto through at least the 2015 season, with a club option worth $10 million for 2016. R.J. Anderson will analyze the deal itself in a separate post, so let’s instead look at what prompted the Jays to buy three more years of a player whose flaws nearly bumped him from manager John Farrell’s lineup last spring. A member of the Reds organization for more than eight years, Encarnacion crossed the border at the 2009 trade deadline, together with righties Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke, in exchange for third baseman Scott Rolen. Encarnacion was hitting just .209/.333/.374 at the time, and his awful defense at the hot corner—which led to one of the league’s best nicknames, “E5”—made him a poor fit for a National League t...
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