There are many things that could have been blamed, from pitching to offense. Add to the fact that Encarnacion had 134 strikeouts during that span, while Napoli had 194 strikeouts and you could easily see why Encarnacion was the better choice for the Tribe. But I still held my breath every time he stepped into the batter's box, knowing that he had the potential to knock one out at any time. How about writing Encarnacion's name in the middle of the lineup and leaving him there for about 145 games or so next season? EE has the second most home runs (193 HRs) over the last five years to Chris Davis (197 HRs).
He brings power as well.
Encarnacion ranks second to Baltimore Chris Davis among Major League Baseball hitters with 193 home runs since 2012.
As rumors swirl about their interest in Edwin Encarnacion, they are one of five teams to have reportedly made an offer to the free agent first baseman. He has yet to sign a contract. He's still a mostly awful fielder-Encarnacion has produced a positive defensive rating just once in his career-but getting him to border on passable would help.
From reclamation product to bona fide middle-of-the-order star, Encarnacion - who will turn 34 on January 7 - was a quiet fan favourite who did his talking with the bat, hitting 239 home runs over seven-plus seasons in Toronto, placing him third in franchise history behind Carlos Delgado (336) and Jose Bautista (265), who also remains unsigned. The 36-year-old Legwand had 228 goals and 390 assists in 1,136 career regular-season games with Nashville, Detroit, Ottawa and Buffalo. Sure, he joins the American League champion Indians, who at least on paper seem to be favorites to waltz back on top of their own division, but hey, that's not the Orioles' problem unless they make it into the postseason.
The Indians' infield alignment, already one of the most potent in the majors, just became more risky: Encarnacion or Carlos Santana at first; Jason Kipnis at second; Francisco Lindor at short; and Jose Ramirez at third.
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With Encarnacion off to Cleveland and Yoenis Cespedes staying with the Mets after signing a new deal, Mark Trumbo and Jose Bautista are the biggest bats remaining on the market. The team's most dependable left-handed arm out of the pen, Cecil is moving on after signing a four-year, $30.5-million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
And then, there's the Toronto Blue Jays.
How does a lineup like this sound? Santana, Kipnis, Lindor and Ramirez all were above 100 in OPS+ last season. "He knows the quality of team they had". They can pitch as well as hit and score.
The Indians are looking to take advantage of their championship window coming off a loss to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series. He's friendly with a lot of people on that team.
The deal will not be official until Encarnacion has undergone a physical, which is not expected until early 2017.