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Blue Jays bid ‘about $80 million’ for Edwin Encarnacion, are still interested

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Tuesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes Toronto’s interest in retaining Encarnacion, and Bartolo Colon on a scooter.

ALCS - Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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The Blue Jays probably aren’t re-signing Edwin Encarnacion. Oh, they’re interested in re-signing him, even reportedly offering him "about" $80 million before they signed Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33 million contract, according to Jon Heyman. However, $80 million over four years isn’t going to cut it, so this is more "Look, we tried" than legitimate effort, and even if Toronto says they believe Encarnacion can play first base well enough for them to be OK with having both he and DH-only Morales around, it’s hard to think they’re being truthful about their feelings.

It’s a step up from the two-year deal they offered Encarnacion last spring, but he wanted something well over $100 million then, and then he had another high-powered season at the plate. The dude’s demands are not going to have dropped to the $80 million range, so, like many teams before the Jays, who submitted offers that seemed reasonable enough to those who truly want to believe that their favorite free agent is leaving through no fault of their favorite team, Toronto offered just enough that they would have happily taken Encarnacion back without the expectation that they would ever have to.

And really, that’s OK. Encarnacion will be 34 years old, and he’s hitting now, but not every successful mid-30s slugger keeps being David Ortiz forever. Only David Ortiz worked that way unless you want to count Barry Bonds, and mileage will vary on that. The Jays don’t want to get stuck with an aging, expensive (former) slugger. You knew this was going to be the case the moment Mark Shapiro took control of the organization, and you’ve likely already made peace with it even if you didn’t want to outright admit this was happening. Signing Morales for maybe one-third or one-fourth of what Encarnacion will get, if not even less, was an opportunity the Jays jumped on. Encarnacion will end up elsewhere, and even if Toronto can’t get Morales to replicate their lost star, at least they’ll have some cash to inject elsewhere in the roster.