Originally Posted by Boss-Hog
To TRF's assertion that the Jays would not have made the deal without EE, I distinctly remember at the time of the trade that the Jays were fairly open that they did NOT want him; taking him was likely a requirement to balance the salaries and/or for the Reds to part with Stewart.
They later released him, so let's not pretend they identified some diamond in the rough that they insisted upon being included.
Like many trades this day and age, this deal was more about the money than the talent of the players involved. The Blue Jays wanted to shed Rolen's salary while getting some talent in return. At the time of the trade EE had a career 103 OPS+ and was a solid major league hitter. The problem with his trade value was not his talent it was his salary, specifically his upcoming salary in future seasons. He was an arbitration-eligible player due a big raise, not a guy another team could snag and keep for free. The Blue Jays signed Encarnacion to a $6 million contract a couple months after they released him. If they didn't want him or if they thought he was no good they wouldn't have given him that kind of coin. His release was a money-saving move, not a move to get rid of a bad player. If they hadn't released him they would have had to go to arbitration with him and he would have gotten a big raise over his $5 million salary from the previous season.