Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Hey look, it’s the post I should have written in the middle of the night!
Which I say because that’s when a tweet from a White Sox prospect blogger named Brian Bilek started making the rounds across the web. In it he said… well… this:
Source: Edwin Encarnacion to sign with #Astros tomorrow.
— Brian Bilek (@BrianBilek_) November 30, 2016
Now, you may be asking, “Who the hell is Brian Bilek?” That’s a totally fair question, and one that, if you’d have asked me before I started looking into this tweet, I wouldn’t have had an answer for. Which is why I’m going to come out and say the obvious: be careful with this one.
Which is a polite way of saying: I wouldn’t go getting your Astros number 10 jersey printed up just yet. At least not until one of the big, plugged-in national writers confirms it.
That said, I think it’s information worth passing along because, a) Bilek isn’t a Twitter egg; he has almost 4,000 followers and writes for a legit site — Future Sox, which is part of the Tribune-owned Chicago Now network — which would give him little incentive to be fabricating rumours. And, b) it’s not as if the idea that an internet prospect guy would have connections in the Houston front office is inconceivable — perhaps especially an internet prospect guy from the Chicago area, seeing as we know that the Astros’ director of pro scouting used to be an internet prospect guy and is from outside of Chicago. (Which isn’t to suggest he’s leaking! I’m just saying, there certainly could be connections).
And this afternoon, Bilek is standing by his original info, and “MLB insider for Barstool” White Sox Dave — who has over 14,000 followers of his own — is saying he hears it, too. (Actually, he says he heard it first, and then once Bilek “reached out to his people he was able to get a confirmation pretty quickly.”
None of which is to say that the report is true and not just a guess and definitely going to happen. But these are the things I thought about when I retweeted it last night, taking it a little more seriously that if the person had been completely anonymous.
But obviously things can change, info can be bad, and even suggestions that have come about honestly can turn up false. The part of me that doesn’t think the Jays (and, more accurately, Rogers) should just suck it up and sign him and truly raise the payroll would like to see Bilek be right on this. Not only for his sake, but because Houston is at least not goddamned Boston (or New York, or Texas).
Still waiting though…