Tribe Makes a Roar By Snagging The Parrot
Last night, it was announced that the Cleveland Indians signed former Toronto Blue Jays Designated Hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, to a three-year $60 million dollar deal which includes a $25 million dollar club option or a $5 million dollar buyout. The deal is still not finalized and is pending a physical as with any other trade or free agent signing.
Once it is made official, the deal will look absolutely superb and will be worth every penny invested for the Cleveland Indians who steered away from their usual way of thinking. Normally in the past, Cleveland has been conscious about how much payroll it took on and had to keep the small market team mentality in mind, but not this time around. Larry Dolan stepped up to the plate and made a move that not only rocked the baseball world, but one that solidified the Indians chance at making a postseason run once again next season.
Encarnacion, also known as The Parrot, will be a tremendous asset for the Indians lineup as well as in their clubhouse. He will fit nicely in the DH role along with Carlos Santana and also has the ability to platoon with Santana at first base.
The Indians will easily have some of the highest offensive numbers next season in the American League at DH as well as first base and will also benefit from Encarnacion's Wins Above Replacement (WAR) average. Out of the four remaining premier bats on the free agent market in Mark Trumbo, Mike Napoli, Chris Carter, and Encarnacion, Encarnacion ranked the highest in WAR with an average of 3.7 last season. The next closest player out of the four mentioned was Mark Trumbo with a WAR of 1.6 followed by Mike Napoli (1.0) and Chris Carter (0.9).
In addition, Encarnacion will likely drive in more runs, record more RBI, and more home runs than former Indians first baseman/current free agent, Mike Napoli. Last season alone, Encarnacion recorded 42 home runs, 127 RBI, and a .886 OPS in 601 at bats, while Napoli put up 34 home runs, 101 RBI, and a .800 OPS in 557 at bats. 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.
While some might argue that the signing of Encarnacion was too expensive for the Indians, the signing will pay off big time for the team especially considering that they generated $15 million dollars in revenue during the postseason last year. That means that Encarnacion's first year is practically paid for already and the Indians will continue to only generate more revenue going forward especially if they have the same level of success as last season.
Although Toronto fans are sad to say goodbye to The Parrot and the firework show that he brought to the Rogers Centre, Indians fans are cheering because their team is finally able to afford a big name and impact bat. Something that they weren't able to do for many years and something that will pay off big time for them in their effort to bring a World Series Championship back to Cleveland for the first time since 1948.