Edwin Encarnacion on Thursday agreed to a 3-year deal with the Cleveland Indians worth $60 million in a big free-agent coup for the defending American League champions.
That and some finer points about the contract breakdown are usually about all the information we get from the inside on these sorts of things. But on Friday, Encarnacion's agent, Paul Kinzer, went on MLB Network Radio to share some great details about how it all went down:
-- The deal was not done over a tense night in their respective war rooms, as you might expect. Oh no. Kinzer said he was at Six Flags and Indians president Chris Antonetti was at The Nutcracker with his family when the deal went down:
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Paul Kinzer finalized deal for Encarnacion while on rides at Six Flags while Chris Antonetti closed deal while at Nutcracker w family— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 23, 2016
-- The A's were the other team in the mix until the last minute in the Encarnacion sweepstakes, and Oakland supposedly made him a huge offer. So why didn't he end up in Oakland? Because California is too far from the Dominican Republic for his family:
EE agent Kinzer on @MLBNetworkRadio, OAK offered "Cespedes-type" money. Edwin turned down. Didn't want west coast travel for family in DR— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) December 23, 2016
Paul Kinzer just told us that the A's and Rangers were both in on Encarnacion until the last minutes and turned down more money from Oak— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 23, 2016
(Cespedes received a four-year deal worth $110 million from the Mets.)
Kinzer also told ESPN.com Friday that leaving Toronto was "tough" for Encarnacion and that he was "emotional" over it. "(Toronto) was home for him," he said.
In a sports world full of tight-lipped secrecy, it's refreshing to get this glimpse into a very relatable behind-the-scenes moment. Who hasn't had to take a work call while out with their family? This one just involved a $60 million MLB contract.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old had one of his best seasons in 2016, hitting .263 with 42 home runs and 127 RBIs. His Blue Jays lost to Cleveland in the American League Championship Series.