What a dilemma the Cardinals seem to have right now, with signing center fielder Dexter Fowler how will they top this one. Well it looks like they are checking out Mark Trumbo or Edwin Encarncion.
Encarnacion hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 homers, 34 doubles and an AL leading 127 RBIs en route to an All-Star selection for the third time in four seasons. The slugger’s 193 home runs since the start of the 2012 season trail only Chris Davis (197) among big-league hitters. With a 3.9 WAR this past season, Encarnacion is setting himself up for a big pay raise.
Trumbo enjoyed a .256/.316/.533 slash line with an MLB-leading 47 homers, 94 runs scored and 108 RBIs in Baltimore. Like Encarnacion, Trumbo isn’t a good defender and can can only help a team in one area — with his power.
The interest in Encarnacion and Trumbo signals that St. Louis may move Carpenter back to third. Encarnacion and Trumbo aren’t great defenders but have enough experience on the infield (and outfield in Trumbo’s case) that it should suffice. Three years older than Trumbo, Encarnacion, 34, will end up having a shorter and thus less-expensive contract than Trumbo.
With a deep and talented power-bat market, Encarnacion’s stock hasn’t gone above three years and $60 million thus far, according to Yahoo Sports. With teams in a wait-and-see mode to find out the prices for Justin Turner, Jose Bautista and Chris Carter, the Cardinals could sweep in and land Encarnacion, who was optimistic to have a deal in place before the Winter Meetings.