Blue Jays Have Interesting Decisions to Make with Bautista and Encarnación

It’s as simple as this: Toronto Blue Jays fans want Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the lineup. The logic behind this is simple, without one of or both Jose and Edwin, the Jays lineup is weaker. They showed last season what having a contending team can do for the business aspect of a team. Selling out the Rogers Center consistently after the trades for David Price and Troy Tulowitzki shows just how powerful this Toronto market can be when the Jays field a winner.

With both Encarnacion and Bautista approaching free agency after this season, the Jays are in an interesting situation. Both players are still without long-term contracts.

The Jays have a few options that they can consider here. The most logical option from my perspective is to keep one, and trade the other for pitching help by the deadline. But here’s where things get hard. They can’t just “trade one”. Why can’t they? Both Edwin and Jose have rights as 10/5 players, which means that according to Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that:

The contract of a Player with ten or more years of Major League service, the last five of which have been with one Club, shall not be assignable to another Major League Club without the Player’s written consent

Both players have just over 10 years of service time in the MLB, and over 5 years of service with the Blue Jays. Time flies. In other words, Jose and Edwin both have the power to veto any deal. This section of the CBA essentially gives these 10/5 players the same rights as those that have a no trade clause.

Therefore as we look at both Edwin and Jose, it’s not as simple as some believe to just trade either of them. The Jays may have options with both players, but to say it will be a simple process just doesn’t take into consideration the players rights and how the Blue Jays plan to operate with them.


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