The New York Yankees picked up Edwin Encarnacion in a trade during June this season. They took a shot on an MLB veteran who has postseason experience and is one of the best power hitters in the Major Leagues.
The team announced on Thursday that they have declined their $20 million club option for Encarnacion for next season, paying him a $5 million dollar buyout which will make him a free agent.
Encarnacion played 44 games with the New York Yankees, where he was limited because of a few injuries. He slashed .249/.325/.531 (with the Yankees) with 13 home runs and 37 runs batted in. Not a stellar year, but he did some good things for the Yanks.
The truth is, the Yankees took a shot on Encarnacion. I think when they picked him up, they knew that this was most likely going to be a one-year thing.
But here’s the truth: the Yankees have too many guys with high home run totals but low averages with a ton of strikeouts, and that’s the same thing Encarnacion brought to the table. One of the things that bit them during the playoffs was not having guys looking to put the ball in play rather than hit it 400 feet every time.
Despite having a stellar ALDS performance against the Minnesota Twins, Encarnacion went 1-18 with 11 strikeouts in the ALCS against Houston. I understand that players go through cold streaks and this clearly isn’t how Encarnacion usually plays, but there’s also an argument how he went ice cold when it mattered.
Encarnacion is 36 years old so he’s nearing the end of his career. He’ll most likely sign a one or two year deal with a team.