Alex Anthopoulos has done it again.
He may be shy about making a huge free splash in the trade market or sticking his neck out for a big time free agent signing but when it comes to re-signing our own talent, he almost always comes out a big winner.
Today the Toronto Blue Jays have extended our 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $29MM dollar contract extension, ensuring EE will be in Toronto until at least 2015. I recently wrote a piece saying I thought it made little sense to trade their budding slugger just to add more prospects to an already loaded system and it seems the front office agreed with that rationale.
Let’s break down the contract to see what type of bargain the Blue Jays could potentially be getting.
Over the past three seasons (including his breakout 2012) Edwin Encarnacion has played only 313 games yet has accumulated 5.8 WAR in that same span. That is an average of 104 games per season so the 5.8 wins were amassed essentially as a part-time player.
On the open free agent market one win is worth approximately $4 million (1 WAR=$4M) so even with a shortened workload over the past three years EE has been “worth” approximately $24MM. The cost of a win also figures to rise over the next 3-4 years with basic inflationary adjustments.
In only 83 games this season (356 PAs) Encarnacion has already been worth 2.8 WAR (with absolutely zero defensive value) already and the season is barely half way done. While this might be a career season for him offensively the potential for a huge bat has always been there and he appears to have turned a corner in his career.
For this contract to be fair for the Blue Jays Encarnacion needs to accumulate roughly 6.75 WAR over the duration of the three years (or 2.25 per season). Consider the fact he will obviously be given full-time at-bats throughout the life of the contract I don’t see any reason why he can’t be at least a 2.3 win player per season.