Headlines, Indians

Cleveland Indians Sign Impact Power Bat Edwin Encarnacion

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It happened, Cleveland. The Indians have signed first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year.

Encarnacion is coming off five consecutive years with at least 34 home runs, and posted 42 home runs in 2016, finishing 14th in MVP voting. Encarnacion is projected by Fangraphs Steamer 600 for the 17th highest wRC+ in 2017.

Whether measured by past performance, projection or status, the Indians have signed the best bat available this offseason and one of the 15 best hitters in baseball. Over the past half decade, Encarnacion has been one of the 10 best offensive players in baseball without a question.

Courtesy of Fangraphs

Courtesy of Fangraphs

Encarnacion, however, has offensive component above elite raw power that will aide that fits perfectly with this roster, contact. It is rare in this age to power hitters with sub-20 percent strikeout rate but Encarnacion makes a ton of contact, which fits perfectly in a lineup which has a flood of contact/OBP types. Contact is limited if it is not of a certain quality, Encarnacion hits the ball hard with authority.

Courtesy of Baseball Savant

Courtesy of Baseball Savant

For what it’s worth, Encarnacion fits beautifully in this lineup:

  1. Santana
  2. Kipnis
  3. Lindor
  4. Encarnacion
  5. Ramirez
  6. Brantley
  7. Chisenhall
  8.  Naquin
  9. Perez

Order however you please, the team with an above average rotation, elite bullpen has now become an elite lineup. WFNY’s Jeff Nomina discussed the fit.

The Indians were able to acquire Encarnacion at a below market rate because of a mid-season trade and postseason usage which completely shifted the marketplace and ultimately asset allocation.

The financial implications of this deal are far stretching in terms of players like Santana, Brantley, Lindor, Ramirez and perhaps others but that is a conversation for another team. The Indians went out and got the best offensive player in free agency to add to a team that went to extra innings in Game Seven of the World Series, Cleveland Baseball has not been this exciting in a long time.

Following the most magical Indians season in over a decade, the Dolans fulfilled their promise to spend big when the time is right, signing Edwin Encarnacion.

  • Garry_Owen

    More “circumstances.”

  • Garry_Owen

    I so, so, so very much want to know what’s going on in this gif. It might be my favorite of all time.

  • markn95

    This is out of the box but if Zimmer in raking in Columbus at the deadline, why not just call him up? Thanks to the EE signing, he won;t have to hit anywhere near the top of the order and his defense and baserunning should immediately transfer to MLB.

  • Chris

    Oh come on G_O. It’s staged wrestling. It’s the same pattern. R-S-P-R-S-P-R-S-P.

    Are you going to have the cookies ready for Santa tomorrow night?

  • Chris

    Totally valid. I think most of us agree that home-grown (and effective) would be ideal.

  • Garry_Owen

    Okay. Well, thanks for the explanation. And yes, while I could not tell the context of the gif (not being a maven of the wrastlin’), I do feel like an idiot.
    http://thats-normal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ashamed.gif

    Gosh. I could have done without the Christmas belittling (like I don’t get enough of that from my own family!). But it’s all cool. I’m good. Santa IS in fact coming tomorrow night, and I’ve asked him for a Lexus, a Mercedes, AND and Hyundai (just for the sake of humility). So I’ll be driving around in my bow-festooned luxury ride while you’re still looking for reasons to make me feel small. We’ll see who’s laughing then!

  • mgbode

    You should check out Blue Jay Twitter from last night — they are in full “canadian beer sux” throat anger right now.

  • mgbode

    elite center field defense paired with our hitting and pitching could be lethal

  • Steve

    He made what was the best offer, and Encarnacion, despite all that meaningless talk about wanting to stay, told him to pound sand. Shapiro should have moved on.

  • Harv

    Clearly burned himself by moving on. They would have shopped and returned to the high offer. Instead, the sand bag dropped on Shapiro’s cabeza because he fearfully tried to force a quick decision. There’s better hitters than he signed still out there for less than he offered EE but Toronto now has worse because Shappy lost his nerve.

  • Steve

    I strongly disagree about the better hitters. A Pearce/Morales combo is projected to be worth 3-4 wins, and I would easily take that over any guy left on the market. Encarnacion was the prize, but he got good production for cheaper without giving up the draft pick.

  • Saggy

    One thing about platoons: it takes 2 guys to make it work.

    Which means it takes away a reliever from the pen (usually), which could lead to overuse injuries or just simply fatigue breakdowns from those guys. Or, it could lead to a team using options on players who aren’t ready yet. Lots of collateral damage. Some small, some possibly big.

    So even though the offensive numbers might add up, they haven’t taken in to account for the loss of a roster spot and the effects of that loss from the other side.

  • Saggy

    It was Olney. Just heard him poke fun at himself on the radio. To his credit, he did explain his reasoning, and he said how many thing should had to happen to make this work. They all happened. Almost like a 59-0 victory.

  • Steve

    Its not a straight platoon, as Pearce can play the OF, but yes, I was including that loss of a roster spot. I don’t think there is any player out there/legit bench player (i.e. not some hotshot prospect) to pair with Trumbo or Napoli that tops what Toronto has done. If Pearce lasted longer, you’d have heard me clamoring a lot for him.

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