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Agent: Encarnacion 'loves Boston'

Bob DeChiara / USA TODAY Sports

Free agency is officially open, and one of the biggest names available is Edwin Encarnacion, who's reportedly seeking a five-year, $125-million deal.

After another strong season with Toronto, Encarnacion's agent, Paul Kinzler, expects the slugger to generate interest from "10 or 11" teams, one of which could be the Boston Red Sox.

In April, David Ortiz - who retired last month after 14 years in Boston - called the 33-year-old Encarnacion a "perfect replacement" for next season - a scenario that's apparently quite alluring.

"It definitely intrigued him," Kinzer said at the general managers' meeting, according to Rob Bradford of "He and David are close, and that meant a lot to him when David did that."

According to Kinzler, Encarnacion also adores the city and enjoys hitting at Fenway Park.

"He loves Boston," the agent said. "You look at his highlights from last year, I think five of his home runs were hit there. He loves to hit there. The atmosphere … That's always one of his favorite road games."

Encarnacion has indeed enjoyed great success at Fenway during his career.

Fenway Park 189 14 41 .892

Although multiple signs point to a potential relationship, it may not be that simple - at least according to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who isn't interested in breaking the bank to replace Ortiz.

"I'm not sure if we're going to do it internally with a lot of the people we have or go outside the organization," Dombrowski told reporters, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. "We know we can never replace (Ortiz's) presence. But we have a lot of guys who can play different positions. We have young guys coming that we like a great deal, so we'll just kind of have to wait to see what happens there.

"There are a lot of different factors. One is affordability, but not only that. How long do you want to tie somebody up for that position when we have a lot of young players coming? That's a very important part of it."

Encarnacion finished 2016 with 42 home runs, and tied Ortiz for the American League lead in RBIs with 127.

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