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The Blue Jays are coming up on the last season of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista in Toronto if the contract talks of this spring are any indication. Less than a month ago, Bautista claimed he was done negotiating, because the Jays knew his price and what it would take to keep him. Now, Encarnacion, who has said he won't negotiate an extension once the regular season begins, has stated that talks have stalled because the two sides can't even agree on how many years the extension should be for: they haven't even gotten into the money part, and you know that would be contentious, too.
Either player could change their minds and negotiate in-season if the Jays finally present a number that suits them: no one is going to outright say no to the contract they were asking for, especially for a place they've been trying to stick in. Things are not looking great as of this moment, though, and there is suddenly even more urgency for the Jays' 2016. They made it to the American League Championship Series last fall, earning a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 1993, but now they're going to have to make another serious run at it again while they still have the scariest middle-of-the-order in the game.
The Jays are probably looking at a combined $300 million or so to keep both sluggers, and given their reluctance in negotiations so far, you can probably forget the idea of retaining both. They could soften their stance on either of Bautista or Encarnacion, though, and hand out one five-year, $150 million-ish looking deal they're a little wary of in order to get the best that one of them has left while Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki are around as well. We'll just have to wait and see if the Jays plan on even that much.
- In lighter Blue Jays' news, this St. Patrick's Day hat sure doesn't look like it has a maple leaf on it.
- These are the American League East's most interesting players, the ones whose seasons could determine the fate of their teams.
- Adam LaRoche surprised Baseball on Tuesday when he announced he was going to "step away" from the game and the White Sox in 2016. If he is in fact retiring, what's next for the White Sox at either first base or DH?
- R.J. Anderson wrote about the dawn of the super bullpen and the pitching trend that wasn't.
- The Red Sox won't switch top prospect Yoan Moncada off second base until he's good at it, and their reasoning makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons.
- The Tigers' seventh-inning issues could be a Brad Ausmus problem, which in turn means they might not be solved.
- Christian Arroyo will probably spend most of 2016 in Double-A, so the Giants aren't exactly making it easy for him to jump to the majors just yet.
- The Angels have set up a strange ticket promotion that sounds more hassle than helpful.
- The end of Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariner is looming.
- What took so long for the Rays to even begin their search for a new stadium site?
- Here is Royals' manager Ned Yost breaking concrete blocks with his bare hands and presumably yelling "BOOM, Yosted!" after each strike. Maybe that last part is just in my head.