Indians Sign Edwin Encarnacion, Gear Up For Another Run At Title
In Edwin Encarnacion, the Indians landed one of this year’s most highly touted free agents. During the last five years, Encarnacion has hit more than 30 home runs a year and was an All Star in three of those years. The Dominican split his time between first base and designated hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays last year.
The three year, $60 million contract was first reported in December, but became official Thursday at a press conference at Progressive Field. The Indians will defend last year’s American League title with most of the same players and Encarnacion says that was a factor in his decision to come to Cleveland.
“That’s why I come here, because I believe in this team, and I know we can win the World Series with the talent we have,” said Encarnacion.
Encarnacion turns 34 on Saturday. But the last five years of his career were easily his best. Encarnacion was considered by some analysts the best hitter available in this year’s free agent market.
Indians executive Chris Antonetti said he went into negotiations unsure if the team could afford a free agent as highly rated as Encarnacion.
“He’s a perfect fit for our team. He’s established himself as one of the most productive offensive players in baseball over the last five years. He’s been remarkably consistent and we feel he’ll impact our team, both with his power and the quality of his at-bats," said Antonetti.