The Indians are expected to finalize their deal with free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion this week, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports. The sides reportedly agreed to terms on December 22, but have yet to announce the pact formally.
Encarnacion, 33, is set to arrive in Cleveland tomorrow and take a physical on Wednesday. Assuming all goes well with the medicals, he’ll be introduced as the newest member of the Indians on Thursday. His agent, Paul Kinzer, says that he doesn’t expect any issues given Encarnacion’s solid recent health history.
Of course, the market has surely already absorbed the soon-to-be-official signing, which seems to take Cleveland out of play for other significant bats while forcing other pursuers to consider alternatives to Encarnacion. Still, we’ve yet to see any appreciable uptick in the action on the many remaining sluggers, none of whom have agreed to terms since the signing.
The next man up could be Mike Napoli, who had been in conversation with the Indians about a return before the Encarnacion agreement. He has been tied closely to the Rangers, but it seems that other organizations remain in the hunt as well. Other still-unsigned power bats who fit the same general profile include righties Mark Trumbo and Chris Carter as well as lefty hitters such as Adam Lind, Brandon Moss, and Logan Morrison.