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Trade Talk

Edwin expected to report to Mariners' camp

Seattle not yet able to move veteran slugger's big contract
MLB.com @jonmorosi

When Seattle acquired Edwin Encarnacion from Cleveland at the Winter Meetings, the Mariners acknowledged almost immediately that Encarnacion could be traded again before the start of Spring Training.

Two months later, that's not likely to happen.

When Seattle acquired Edwin Encarnacion from Cleveland at the Winter Meetings, the Mariners acknowledged almost immediately that Encarnacion could be traded again before the start of Spring Training.

Two months later, that's not likely to happen.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

One source told MLB.com that the Mariners' trade discussions involving Encarnacion have not advanced in recent days, and Encarnacion is expected to report to Peoria, Ariz., this week to begin workouts with their position players on Saturday.

Seattle's approach with Encarnacion could change, as injuries or positional needs arise in camps across the Majors this spring. But it's proving difficult for the Mariners to move Encarnacion now, given that his appeal is mostly limited to the American League, and there are designated hitters available on the free-agent market, including Evan Gattis.

Still, the 36-year-old Encarnacion is likely to be dealt between now and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Mariners have made clear that they are in the initial months of a long-term rebuild, and Encarnacion is entering the final guaranteed season on his contract. He's due to earn $20 million this year, with a $5 million buyout on a $20 million club option for 2020.

While Encarnacion's OPS declined in 2018 for the third straight season, he was still an above-average hitter (115 OPS+). He also drove in 100 or more runs for a fourth consecutive year; Anthony Rizzo and Nolan Arenado are the only other Major Leaguers to have done so.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network.

Seattle Mariners, Edwin Encarnacion