Dodgers: 5 free agents to target if MLB gives NL the DH spot
By Jason Reed
The Dodgers could snag Edwin Encarnacion on the cheap.
It’s easy to look at Edwin Encarnacion’s 2020 season and shudder at the thought of the Dodgers signing him. He was not good. Like, really not good. He hit .157 with a .627 OPS, 10 home runs and 19 RBIs.
Encarnacion just could not get going and he’s at the age where regression is prominent, like with Cruz. However, there’s one benefit of taking the risk on Encarnacion and seeing if he can regain his old form in LA: it would allow the team to re-sign Justin Turner.
Encarnacion is not going to get a big offer after coming off such a bad season. The Dodgers would have the funds to not only re-sign Turner but also bring Encarnacion in on a cheap deal to provide DH at-bats.
Spotrac places Encarnacion’s market value at $5.4 million, but I would be shocked if he got that much. I could see him getting a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers if they were really interested.
Encarnacion still has some pop in his bat and he was good in 2019, when he slugged 34 home runs with 86 RBIs and had an .875 OPS. He could essentially be the right-handed version of Joc Pederson for this team, providing power and a high OPS.
While Cruz or Ozuna would slot right in the middle of the order, with JT back, Encarnacion would be pushed farther down the order, and that’s just fine. Just imagine a Betts, Seager, Turner, Muncy, Smith, Bellinger, Encarnacion, Lux, Pollock lineup against left-handed pitcher. Deadly.