Of the top 14, three are currently free agents who could be signed by any team:
2. Edwin Encarnacion OPS+ 146
7. Jose Bautista OPS+ 140
9. Mark Trumbo OPS+ 112
Trumbo hit a career high 47 HR in 2016, the most of any player. Trumbo is fairly one dimensional, which is the general knock on sluggers this off season. Encarnacion and Bautista have solid OPS+ (On Base plus Slugging averages adjusted for ball parks and era), so they are not all or nothing players in the batter's box.
One recent explanation for not signing Bautista is that teams are tired of his angry act. Bautista is already 36 years old. Encarnacion, however, will turn 34 January 7. So while he is older than teams want he is by no means ancient. Yet there he sits, waiting for a deal.
Jason Heyward was the big free agent signing a year ago. The Chicago Cubs acted according to the then prevailing wisdom that Jason Heyward would save them so many runs in the outfield and was young enough that he was worth it.
|2018||28||Chicago Cubs||$28,166,667||Has right to opt out of contract following 2018 season.|
|2019||29||Chicago Cubs||$20,000,000||Has right to opt out of contract following 2019 season if he has 550 PA that year.|
|Earliest Free Agent: 2024|
Encarnacion HR, AB:
2012 42 542
2013 36 530
2014 34 477
2015 39 529
2016 42 601
The guy will turn 34 in January. Who the heck couldn't use his bat for the next few years? Number five in Home Runs the last five years was David Ortiz, who was 40 years old during the 2016 season. 2012-2016 OPS+ 154.
It seems that general managers would rather follow the prevailing conventional wisdom than basic common sense. Theo Epstein of the Cubs is hailed as a genius for winning championships with two teams that had not won for VERY long times: Red Sox and Cubs. The Cubs won in spite of Epstein signing Heyward to what may be the worst free agent deal of all time.
Should Cubs fire manager Joe Maddon? Thursday, November 3, 2016
Joe Maddon just won the World Series as manager of the Chicago Cubs, their first championship since 1908. Maddon made fundamental mistakes and was lucky they didn't give the title to the Cleveland Indians.
The worst were Maddon's use of monster closer Aroldis Chapman.
See, winning makes mistakes acceptable. But it's foolish to copy obvious mistakes. Which brings us to such an example, the continuing madness of Yankee general manager Brian Cashman.
Yankees are beyond stupid: bad and boring. Sign Aroldis Chapman: $86 million, five years. Thursday, December 8, 2016
Aroldis Chapman back in Yankee Stadium in front of hundreds of Yankee fans at 11 PM wondering how 105 MPH fastball pitcher ages. Thursday, December 8, 2016
Pay per inning: Aroldis Chapman $239,000, Masahiro Tanaka $110,000. Friday, December 9, 2016
Paying exorbitant sums for the outdated closer and passing on a slugger. Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Edwin Encarnacion from Cincinnati in 2009. It looks like multiple teams made mistakes.
- July 31, 2009: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart to the Toronto Blue Jays for Scott Rolen.
- November 12, 2010: Selected off waivers by the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays.
- December 2, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
- December 16, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It's not too late. The Yankees could offer Encarnacion the same deal that he turned down from the Toronto Blue Jays: $80 million for four years. Those would be Encarnacion playing ages 34, 35, 36, 37. That seems perfectly reasonable but maybe just not according to current and fleeting conventional Wisdom.