Encarnacion, Blue Jays appear to be at impasse in contract talks

Shi Davidi reports on the latest comments from Edwin Encarnacion regarding his contract situation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Edwin Encarnacion and the Toronto Blue Jays appear to be at an impasse as the slugger’s deadline of opening day for an extension looms, with the term of a new deal a primary sticking point.

The sides haven’t spoken since their last meeting roughly two weeks ago, when the team is believed to have suggested a two-year deal.

No further talks are currently planned, according to sources, which may help explain Encarnacion’s pessimism in comments made to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun on Saturday, saying: “I’m really disappointed that nothing has happened, but it’s not my decision. They don’t have it in their plans for me to stay here.”

Based on what the market paid for power over the past couple of off-seasons, a four-year term can be reasonably seen as a floor for contract length.

Encarnacion is thought to be seeking a five-year deal but a club source said there was "little chance right now" that he would receive that from the team.

Encarnacion, 33, is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $37 million over four years, and doesn't want talks extending into the season so he can solely focus on performing.

Since 2012, he ranks second in the majors in home runs (151) and RBI (423), is fourth in slugging (.549) and eighth in OPS (.919).

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said this week that the club was "absolutely" having dialogue with Encarnacion, although the sides were said to be far apart on terms and money.