Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
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.
Good points, but buried in there is the reason the Reds should weep no tears over trading EdE. The Jays were perfectly willing to lose Encarnacion if he didn't take a pay cut and, in fact, did lose him briefly. The Reds got there a year earlier, deciding he was never going to stick at 3B. The Jays tried him at 3B, reached the same conclusion but ultimately had a DH job to offer him. If the Reds had a DH job or didn't have Votto you can make the argument he was still a valuable asset to the club. As it was, his contract and inability to play 3B meant the Reds either were dealing EdE in 2009 or cutting him afterward.