For a brief moment last weekend, the Jays grabbed the lead in their division from the Baltimore Orioles, before eventually giving it back after a loss in the third game of the recent series.
One thing this season should teach General Manager Ross Atkins is that he should get Edwin Encarnacion signed, as soon as possible.
Encarnacion recently reached a career milestone late last week, with his 300th double in the first game against the Orioles. As of press time, Encarnacion ranked second as a Jay in runs, just behind Josh Donaldson, and third on the team in hits.
He has also been one of the Blue Jays more consistent players since 2012, never finishing a season with less than 34 home runs or less than 120 hits. He is currently first in the league in runs batted in and third in the league in home runs. At 33 years of age, those are pretty good records to hold.
Encarnacion is also third on the franchise’s all time home run list, recently pulling ahead of Vernon Wells.
It is no wonder, the Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz has expressed his own interest in having Encarnacion on his team next season.
Atkins is in an interesting situation, where he might lose heavy hitter Jose Bautista to free agency. This is why trade rumours, such as Bautista moving to the Washington Nationals, have recently emerged. This should put some urgency on the ball club to lock up one of its long ball hitters in Encarnacion.
Encarnacion has told the Toronto Blue Jays that he will not negotiate a contract during the regular season, but, as soon as the window opens, GM Atkins needs to get him locked up.
The past few years, the Toronto Blue Jays have been one of the league’s top teams for home runs. Since 2012, they have never finished a season with less than 175 homers. Last season was one of their best, with 232 home runs. This has been, in part, thanks to the Jays having someone of Encarnacion’s calibre.
It is hard to think about the Toronto Blue Jays without Encarnacion, so hopefully Atkins can get a new contract for the slugger done fast.