The Cleveland Indians, while coyly dancing around the announcement for the last couple days, have officially welcomed Edwin Encarnacion to the club. The 33-year-old right-handed power bat agreed to a three-year, $65 million deal last month with a club option for the 2020 season.
Despite approaching his mid-30s, Edwin has been one of the most consistent hitters in the majors in recent years. He has not hit fewer than 30 home runs in any season since 2011, and last year he tied his career-high with 42. If there is one minor worry about his game, it’s that his strikeout rate jumped four percent in 2016, but even projection systems have that coming back down a bit next year.
Edwin will wear the No. 10 jersey that he has worn in Toronto since 2011. Catcher Yan Gomes, who had the No. 10 since joining the Indians in 2013, will relinquish the uniform number in exchange for No. 7. Collin Cowgill previously had the number in his brief stint with the Tribe last season.
And, of course, since this is the Indians they have a new emoji just for Edwin, including the parrot that he “carries” around his home run trot.