Encarnacion’s agent: ‘Door still open’ for return to Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion may have hit a snag in contract negotiations, but a return to the team still seems to be possible for the slugger.

In an appearance on Tim & Sid Thursday, Encarnacion’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said he and Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins are still having discussions, and he thinks “the door is still open” for the all-star to re-sign with Toronto.

With the impending signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales, it seemed there would not be a logical fit for Encarnacion on the Blue Jays’ roster unless he moved to an everyday role at first base.

Kinzer implied reports of the four-year offer in the $80 million range the Blue Jays made Encarnacion were in the ballpark, but stated it would take more money and term to land the coveted free agent.

 “He feels like this is his last contract,” Kinzer said. “He loves Toronto, that’s where he’d love to be but he’s been on a team-friendly contract, which he agreed to and we’ve never complained about. When he got the deal he was happy with it and he feels like he performed well and he was one of the better bargains in baseball the last four years. This is his chance, it’s his last contract.”

The head of REP1 Baseball, Kinzer also revealed there are five teams aside from Toronto currently pursuing his client. If an appealing deal presented itself, Encarnacion’s free agency could be resolved in the near future, but the Dominican Republic native isn’t going to rush into a decision for the sake of expediency.

“If the right offer came in from the right team and he was comfortable playing there we could get it done tomorrow, but that isn’t going to happen,” Kinzer said. “He’s prepared to go through the Winter Meetings if that’s what he needs to do.”

Encarnacion turned his career around as a member of the Blue Jays, racking up 193 home runs since the start of 2012 and developing into one of the most feared power hitters in MLB.

The 33-year-old is coming off a season in which he hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 homers and 127 RBI. He also provided one of the most iconic home runs in Blue Jays history with his three-run blast in extra innings to lift Toronto over the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 American League Wild Card Game.

Article Written by Michael Hoad of Sportsnet