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Blue Jays pick up option on Edwin Encarnacion, decline option on Jon Rauch

Oct 31, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Add another name to the lengthy list of free agent closer-types.

While the Blue Jays announced their decision today to pick up Edwin Encarnacion‘s $3.5 million option for 2012, they also declined Jon Rauch‘s $3.75 million option.

Rauch, who qualifies as a Type B free agent, will receive a $250,000 buyout. The 33-year-old right-hander posted a 4.85 ERA, 11 saves and a 36/14 K/BB ratio over 52 innings this season before undergoing surgery on his right knee in September. Frank Francisco will also be a free agent this winter, so the Blue Jays figure to have a new closer in 2012.

As for Encarnacion, his return was expected. The 28-year-old is still a man without a position, but he batted .272/.334/.453 with 17 home runs this season, including 11 homers and an .887 OPS during an impressive second half surge. Assuming Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t attempt to sign David Ortiz, Encarnacion should serve as the primary designated hitter in 2012. 

  1. Francisco (FC) - Oct 31, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Shameless plug, most recent Craig’s Lair is up. All this stupid work stuff isn’t letting me post more often :(

  2. Francisco (FC) - Oct 31, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Oh but I still have a relevant comment: E5?!?!?!? REALLY? Oh man to think the Jays could have had Napoli….

    Also the Blue Jays figure to actually GET a closer for 2012. I never saw them actually send one to the mound in all of 2011.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 31, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      Touche.

    • Kyle - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:10 PM

      I hear that. I had a handful or two of them on my fantasy team throughout the season and it was a stressful situation. I’ll always remember that game where Rauch went nuts and almost killed his manager trying to get at the ump.

      • D.J. Short - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:50 PM

        Yep. Rauch knocked Farrell’s jaw out of place:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/05/john-farrell-had-his-jaw-knocked-out-of-place-by-jon-rauch/

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 1, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        I was there man! I had front row seats to that particular event XD

  3. sknut - Oct 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    I wonder if the Twins will have interest in Rauch, he was pretty effective for them and I doubt Rauch gets a chance to close elsewhere.

  4. proudlycanadian - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    I doubt that the Jays will offer arbitration to Rauch. He was ineffective and the Jays do not want to take the risk that they might be stuck with him next year.

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Forget the speculation that the Jays might sign Ortiz. He is a Type A free agent with a limited shelf life. The Jays would not give up a draft pick in order to sign him. The story that they might be interested in Ortiz may have been started by his agent.

    • cur68 - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:12 AM

      I don’t think they need Ortiz. They need a Fielder, but they probably don’t want to pay. He can at least play 1st; not great, but probably better than Ortiz, and, while he costs a fortune, he doesn’t cost draft picks. With the infield arms of Lawrie, Escobar, and Johnson being as accurate as they are, perhaps they make up for Fielder’s short comings. Probably rotate Fielder in and out of the field with he & Encarnacion swapping for DH/1B. What a fun lineup card that would be to fill out. Farell would be giggling as he dithered over “Escobar, Lawrie, Bautista, Fielder, Encarnacion, Thames/Davis, Arencebia, Johnson, Rasmus/Loewen”. If the pitching doesn’t give up more than 4 runs/game, those guys would be a slugging force; maybe another 6 or 7 games? With a closer (Papelbon, maybe?) they should be 10 or 12 wins better than this season, just on the saves alone. Oh please let it be Fielder….

      • APBA Guy - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        What’s Adam Lind’s role in a mix with Fielder at 1B?

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