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Cleveland Reloads, Signs Slugger Encarnacion

Cleveland Reloads, Signs Slugger Encarnacion Keith Allison via


Edwin Encarnacion agrees to three-year deal with tribe

The Cleveland Indians struck a mighty blow to the baseball world when the defending American League Champions agreed to terms with highly sought after free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion on a three-year, $60 million deal with a fourth year club option worth $20 million.

Encarnacion, a three-time All-star had offers from 6 teams and according to reports, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros were thought to be the front-runners in acquiring his services. The 2016 season saw him set a career high in RBI’s with 127 to go along with his 42 home runs and a .263 average.

The 2016 World Series saw two teams with long storied history’s of baseball tradition and dedicated fan bases pitted against each other in a battle that would end a long and painful streak on either side. The Chicago Cubs would have the last laugh as they stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the best of seven series.

Cleveland’s loss in the series wasn’t due to a lack of pitching. The Indians staff, consisting of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin proved to be every bit capable of keeping Cubs hitters off-balance at the plate. Where the lineup didn’t match up was offensively. Cleveland had been plagued by injuries early in the season, losing starting catcher Yan Gomes and All-star outfielder Michael Brantley, who appeared in only 11 games for the Indians in 2016. Timely hitting and slumping Cubs bats helped the Indians build a solid lead in the series, but in the end it wasn’t enough to bring a World Series title to Cleveland.

It’s a bold move by the Indians who aren’t typically known as being “generous” with the checkbook while courting free agents. Part of that is due to the swing and miss nature that has befallen Cleveland in recent years with players like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. The Indians overpaid in both cases with little to show for their efforts.

At the end of the day, this is a move that makes perfect sense for the Indians. With stars like Jason Kipnis, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco, Fransico Lindor and Carlos Santana, this is a team that with the acquisition of Encarnacion, have once again entered the conversation as the team to beat in the American League. Cleveland is in a good position to win now and keep winning if they can stay healthy, and the offense produces the way management believes it will. Adding Encarnacion gives Cleveland plenty of reason to believe a repeat trip to the World Series could be possible in 2017.