The lottery for Edwin Encarnacion finally ended Thursday night, and Yankees fans have this to be thankful for: The former Blue Jay may not be joining the Yanks, but at least he won’t be with an AL East rival.
Encarnacion, 33, signed a three-year, $65-million deal with the Indians, with a $5-million buyout on a fourth-year option, according to Fox Sports, which cited sources. Cleveland beat out a slew of other teams, including the Blue Jays, who offered him a four-year, $80-million deal, and the Yankees, who entered the picture earlier this month but faded down the stretch.
Fox Sports reported that if Cleveland picks up Encarnacion’s option, the deal will be equivalent to the Blue Jays’ offer. The A’s reportedly also were in the mix.
The designated hitter/first baseman had a .263/.357/.529 slash line, 42 home runs and 127 RBIs in 160 games last season. He will fill the hole left by Mike Napoli, also a free agent.
Encarnacion is the only player in baseball with at least 30 home runs in each of the last five years, according to ESPN Stats. He also drove in more than 100 runs in four of those seasons, falling two short in 2014. He has 193 homers, 550 RBIs and a .272/.367/.544 slash line in that span.