Toronto Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion Claimed By Oakland Athletics

Brad LeClair@beerad87Correspondent INovember 12, 2010

Today, the Toronto Blue Jays lost a member of their elusive 20 home run club from last season, as Edwin Encarnacion was claimed by the Oakland Athletics.

This move was expected, as Encarnacion made around $5.175 million dollars last season and was pretty mediocre at third base. His inability to hit consistently and his erratic defensive game pretty much sealed Edwin's fate in Toronto.

While being affectionately known was "E5" for his penchant to make errors at third base, to his credit, along with the tutelage of defensive coach Brian Butterfield, he was able to improve his defense as the season progressed.

Last season Encarnacion hit .244 adding 21 home runs and 51 runs batted in, amassing those totals in only 332 at bats. Those numbers stack up pretty nicely when you project them out over 600 at bats, which gives him a totals of roughly 35 homers and 100 runs batted in.

With the Athletics adding Encarnacion, this likely means the end of Kevin Kouzmanoff's tenure in the Golden State.

Kouzmanoff, who is another non-tender candidate (like Encarnacion), will likely be out a job in Oakland with the likes of David DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, Rajai Davis, Conor Jackson and Jack Cust getting time at third, the outfield and at designated hitter.

Kouzmanoff hit .247 last season hitting 16 home runs and adding 71 RBI in 551 at bats. Right now, according to the numbers, the Athletics upgraded at third, but you can also argue that the Athletics home stadium is one of the worst hitting parks in the majors, so his numbers may be better than originally thought.

Could he be an option at third base for the Blue Jays? That remains to be seen, but he will probably be on the Blue Jays radar nonetheless.

In other related Jays news, reliever Brian Tallet and outfielder DeWayne Wise refused Triple-A assignments this morning and were sent packing, becoming non-tendered free agents.

Tallet compiled one of his worst seasons to date last season, going 2-6 with a 6.40 ERA and Wise was used in a utility role with the Jays last season and gained more playing time when Fred Lewis was lost to bunion surgery in the latter part of the year. 

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