Shapiro staying positive about long-term status of Encarnacion

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro responded to Edwin Encarnacion’s comments about his contract negotiation, saying the team still hopes he will remain part of the long-term future.

With the Toronto Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnacion seemingly at an impasse over contract negotiations, the slugger voiced his concern over his long-term status with the team to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun on Saturday.

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro responded to Encarnacion’s comments on Sunday, and says he is keeping a positive mindset about working out a deal.

“We just reinforce how much we appreciate him as a player and as a person for what he’s done here and for what we hope he’s going to do this year,” Shapiro told reporters. “We’re going to maintain a positive position that we hope he’s part of the long-term future as well.”

Shapiro says any contract talks that do take place will be kept behind closed doors to maximize the chances of coming to an agreement.

“Anything that happens relating to a contract, we’re going to keep private for the specific reason that keeping those conversations private gives us the best chance to get those things done,” Shapiro said. “A public forum for a contact negotiation actually has a negative impact on getting something done.”

Encarnacion has not played in any spring training games after dealing with an abscessed tooth and oblique issue. He hopes to take part in batting practice on Tuesday and remains optimistic about his chances of being ready for opening day.

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