When news broke Thursday that the Jays had signed Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $29 million extension, you could be forgiven for thinking these three little words: That's so Alex.

Since taking the reins in Toronto in October 2009, Alex Anthopoulos has developed a reputation as one of the most tight-lipped general managers in the game. With the market for hitters painfully thin ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, Encarnacion is projected to be the best available bat — that is, if the Jays decided to sell. With a .500 record playing in the toughest division in baseball, but also chasing a second wild-card spot that figures to be wide open, teams were waiting to see if the Jays might become buyers, or sellers. Locking up Encarnacion with a three-year contract was on nobody's radar.

If the secrecy of the deal struck you as typically Anthopoulos, so too should the dollar amount. As sports fans, we often think of players in black-and-white terms. Hell, analysts sometimes fall into this trap too. Derek Jeter is "good." Clint Barmes is "bad." So if you think Encarnacion is a star player by dint of his 23 homers and .295/.382/.565 line at the All-Star break, $29 million looks like chump change. If, on the other hand, you see Encarnacion as the moderate power, low-on-base, lousy-defense player of 2009–2011, handing out a three-year guaranteed contract for any kind of significant money looks ugly.