-- The agency for Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion said a lawsuit that claims their client gave sexually transmitted diseases to a woman is "completely inappropriate and meritless."
"[Encarnacion] will take every legal measure to defend himself against this frivolous claim, and will bring appropriate claims in the appropriate forums against all of the individuals seeking to exploit his financial position," said Chris Koras, legal counsel for the agency that represents Encarnacion, in a statement. "This is an unacceptable attack on his exceptional character and stellar reputation within the baseball community as a man who carries himself with the highest level of integrity."
TMZ Sports reported Monday that a 24-year-old woman filed suit against Encarnacion and is seeking $11.5 million in damages. In the suit, according to TMZ, the woman claims she had multiple sexual encounters with Encarnacion in the Dominican Republic in February and contracted two STDs.
The woman is a family friend of Encarnacion and met him in 2013, TMZ reported.
Encarnacion's lawyer, Guillermo Estrella, told Arturo Marcano of ESPNDeportes.com that his client is innocent. Estrella said he and his team are concerned about the matter of jurisdiction because the incident occurred in Punta Cana, the applicant is a Dominican citizen and Encarnacion is Dominican and has residence in that country.
"It is not logical that the U.S. courts learn about this subject. We will make the appropriate arrangements to bring the matter to Dominican justice," Estrella said. "Edwin is absolutely innocent -- that claim makes no sense and we will prove it."
Encarnacion, who leads the American League in RBIs with 101, has hit 35 or more home runs in four of the past five seasons. He is making $10 million this season in the final year of his contract.
"Mr. Encarnacion will not be commenting on this matter," Koras wrote in the statement. "He will not allow this to distract from his continued focus of contributing to his team's success. We kindly ask that his privacy be respected."