CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians swung for the free-agent fences and connected.
Capping a year in which they came within one victory of winning the World Series, the Indians agreed with slugger Edwin Encarnacion on a $60 million, three-year contract Thursday night.
The deal is contingent upon the 33-year-old Encarnacion passing a physical after the holidays, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the agreement.
One of baseball’s most feared power hitters, Encarnacion had 42 home runs and 127 RBIs last season for the Toronto Blue Jays, who lost to Cleveland in the AL Championship Series. Over the past five seasons, he’s averaged 39 homers and 110 RBIs in 145 games.
Encarnacion reportedly turned down a four-year offer from Toronto worth at least $80 million before hitting the open market. The AL champion Indians swooped in and worked out a deal to bring in a player who could help put them back in position to win their first Series title since 1948.
Cleveland came within one win of taking it all last season, jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the Series before the Chicago Cubs rallied to win in seven games and capture their first title in 108 years.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.