As was to be expected with the Blue Jays two big sluggers, Edwin and Jose have officially declined the qualifying offers extended to them.
— MLB (@MLB) November 14, 2016
Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista were among six other MLB players whom declined the $17.2 million qualifying offers. The only two players to accept the QO were the Phillies’ Jeremy Hellickson and Mets’ Neil Walker.
Each of Edwin and Jose have had more tumultuous beginnings in free agency than they probably would have liked. Each of their agents have floated the idea that the pair would like to return to Toronto, but that’s come with little reaction from the Blue Jays. Instead, GM Ross Atkins went out and signed Kendrys Morales to a three year, $33 million contract; all but signally that Edwin’s days are likely done in Toronto.
I’m sure it didn’t help that Edwin Encarnacion and his agent had been floating ambitions of a five year, $125 million deal, despite not having a particularly clear suitor. As such, the Jays aren’t waiting around.
We’ll likely see stories in the ensuing months linking Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to Toronto, but it seems increasingly likely that the Blue Jays will go another direction with their dollars. Of the pair, Bautista seems like the more likely candidate to return, as he’ll cost less after a down season and could fill in at first base and in the outfield.
Lead Photo: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports