Edwin Encarnacion ended the Baltimore Orioles’ season in 2016. His walk off home run in the 1th inning of the AL Wild Card game won it for Toronto, bouncing the Birds unceremoniously from the playoffs. But how would Orioles fans feel about Encarnacion possibly doing that for their team?
Encarnacion is a free agent, and the Orioles appear to have some muted interest. Since 2012 his home run totals have been in the mid-30’s to low-40’s, and last year he had an OBP of .357. Yes, however he’s been considered a villain for the past few years with Toronto.
First off, do the Orioles pay a little too much attention to that type of thing? I mean, if a player is the right fit, should it really matter that he’s been playing for a team who’s fought with the Orioles tooth and nail (sometimes literally) over the years? In a cae like Bautista I think that does make a difference. Bautista’s gone out of his way to antagonize the BIrds. Encarnacion in my view has not. On that front I think they could make it work.
There are two things that might hold the Orioles back in this case. First off, he’ll be 34 years old when next season begins. So for starters he would probably need to take a shorter contract if he comes here. However he’s also a corner infielder by trade. He would be the Orioles’ primary DH if he signed, however I suspect they’d prefer someone who also had the ability to play the outfield.
Notice I said above that the Orioles had muted interest. My prediction is that he doesn’t come to Baltimore. I think the Orioles would be better off sticking with Trumbo as opposed to going outside the organization and getting someone else. Mind you, that’s not a sure thing either, however you know much more what you are getting.