Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Encarnacion to Cleveland; Nova Stays With Pirates

The premiere slugger on the free agent market, Edwin Encarnacion, agreed to a 3 year/$60 M contract with the Cleveland Indians.  The deal reportedly does not have an opt out and has a no-trade clause.   The Indians have a team option for $25 M with a $5 M buyout for year 4.  Encarnacion turns 34 yo in January so the contract runs through his age 36 season.  That is less concerning to Cleveland because he is pretty much strictly a DH anyway.  He gives the Indians some added thump in their lineup and shows they are serious about making another run in 2017.

I looked up the relative park factors for Toronto and Cleveland stadiums.  Cleveland is actually more hitter friendly than Toronto, so Encarnacion should keep on pumping dingers out of the park.  As for other possible destinations, he was never going to an NL team so that immediately too half his options off the table, including the Giants.


The Pirates took a small gamble that Ray Searage is truly the Pitcher Whisperer and Ivan Nova's success after a trade from the Yankees to the Pirates was not just a short run of good luck.  The Pirates will pay Nova $26 M over the next 3 seasons with an extra $2 M available in performance bonuses.  Nova has always had good stuff.  His big problem is giving up dingers, which may be helped by pitching PNC Park as his home ballpark.  The upside is quite high and the risk is relatively small by today's open market prices.


  1. There was an article, I think it was on ESPN, about how the market was flooded with power-hitting 1B/DH types. Encarnacion was on that list. And of the log-jam of players at that position, he was probably the best, so good for the Indians.

    Also, the signing probably makes the Indian's the current AL favorite (at least on FanGraphs' projections -- ).

  2. I like the signing of Encarnacion to Cleveland a lot. With this signing, the return of Brantley, the rotation getting Salazar and Carrasco back, the Indians just became my American League team to beat over Boston at this point. If they can just get better at catcher.

  3. Giants in WS sweep over Indians!
    Remembering 1954, I was in 9th grade, sadly, I bet my lunch money every day on Cleveland.
    Fortunately, the 4th game was on Saturday so I only went hungry 3 days!
    That was a really good Cleveland team, 111-43 record.
    Obviously, the Giants were pretty good, too, and they had a secret weapon!
    Would you believe they played on consecutive days, going by train Thursday night from Cleveland to New York to play Friday afternoon?

    1. Great reminisces from back in the day.

  4. For what it's worth, at 11 I heard Bobby Thomson's HR on the radio. I came home from school (6th grade), there was always a game of the day (Mutual Broadcasting?), no TV in central Florida then. I listened with boys who were Yankee fans -- they wanted Brooklyn because they thought NYY would do better against the Dodgers (who had NEVER won a WS).
    I had been by birth a Cardinal fan (parents) and National League but hated the Dodgers.
    They tried to pull a trick on me as I ran out into the street shouting "The Giants win the Pennant" (wonder where I got that!) saying it was foul.
    Poor Ralph Branca (RIP): he got 2 losses in that 3-game playoffs!
    I still hate the Dodgers and especially Dick Nen!

    1. Ah! I see he hit a semi-famous 3-run HR against the Cardinals.

    2. Alas, I was listening. The Cardinals had won something like 19 out of 20 and closed the gap with the Dodgers to a game and began a 3-game series at home with the leaders.
      Got swept!
      Nen played a part in the ninth inning of the third game game (closer problem!) but the real villains were Johnny Podres, Sandy Koufax, and Ron Perranowski.
      Cards got their revenge the next year and almost closed out the decade with 3 WS wins. Except ...