Yankees acquire 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion from Mariners

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Update 12:36 a.m.: Yankees have made the deal official. Encarnacion for Then and cash considerations. RHP Jake Barrett was moved to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster.

Saturday: Here’s a stunner: The Yankees have acquired slugging 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion from the Mariners, according to reports. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was first to report the deal.

Joel Sherman indicated the Yankees are likely sending Minor League starter Juan Then to Seattle. Then, 19, has yet to pitch for an affiliate this season and was acquired from the Mariners along with J.P. Sears in 2017 for Nick Rumbelow.

Encarnacion, 36, is having a resurgent season after joining Seattle from Cleveland this offseason. He’s batting .241/.356/.531 with a 140 OPS+ and 21 home runs, which leads the American League. He’s hit at least 32 home runs in each of the last six seasons and hasn’t had a below-average OPS this decade.

Encarnacion is making $20 million in the final year of a three-year, $60 million contract initially signed with Cleveland. The Rays are paying $5 million as part of a three-team deal over the winter, while the Mariners likely have slightly more than $8 million left this season. There is a $20 million team option on his contract for next season with a $5 million buyout.

The Yankees and Mariners will essentially split the $15 million or so left including the buyout, according to Ken Rosenthal.

The slugger’s parrot, though, comes for free.

Encarnacion has played first base more often this season with 45 games there as opposed to 19 as the designated hitter. However, with the Yankees, he will split first base duties with Luke Voit. The acquisition could take playing time away from Gio Urshela, Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier with Giancarlo Stanton playing more outfield.

The Rays were expected to be a potential landing spot for the veteran, so the trade could serve the dual purpose of preventing a top hitter from landing with a rival team.

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7 Comments

  1. Wire Fan

    So with EE on board the Yankees can only carry 4 OFs and 1 reserve IF on the roster (assuming they stay with an 8 man pen) .

    That means Maybin put on waivers/traded (for Stanton) and Frazier optioned or traded(for Judge). I assume Tauchman gets optioned for EE.

    Barring an injury, I see no way Frazier can stick on the 25 man in the short term once Judge is back. Though I’m not sure it is as likely that Frazier is traded as people think – Gardy will be a FA and I think it is unlikely they pick up EE’s 2020 option. So there will be roster space next year.

  2. Dan

    looks like there won’t be room for him on the team once Stanton gets back in light of the EE trade, but man, I really like Cameron Maybin.

  3. Jake

    I gotta think this is a precursor to a trade for a SP, most likely Frazier

    • dasit

      seems like it, but maybe the asking price was so ridiculously low cashman feels a logjam is acceptable

  4. dasit

    djlm
    voit
    judge
    stanton
    sanchez
    edwin
    torres
    hicks
    frazier

    david price wakes up screaming

    • Dan

      Not sure how that lineup works. You have 4 OFers (Frazier/Judge/Stanton/Hicks), and both Voit and EE but no Didi or Urshela, so I guess EE plays 3rd? I don’t think that’s likely to happen. I’d sub Didi for Frazier.

      • dasit

        yeah i got over-excited
        that line-up only works in a beer league

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