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Tribe may try to trade Edwin Encarnacion

The Cleveland Indians appear open to several moves this offseason. Would trading Edwin Encarnacion also be on the table?

In Cleveland Indians rumors, Cleveland.com columnist Terry Pluto wrote he expects the Tribe to see if there’s any kind of market for Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion, who will soon be 36 in January, can still hit, but he’s due $20 million next season. He carries a $20 million team option for 2020, but that comes with a $5 million buyout.

The right-hander averaged 35 HR and 107 RBIs during this two seasons with Cleveland. In that same time frame, he’s batted .252 (.848 OPS).

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Unfortunately, Encarnacion hasn’t been the difference maker the Indians were hoping he’d be in the postseason. He was injured in Game 2 of the 2017 ALDS against the Yankees, and like most of the Tribe’s lineup, offense was but a rumor to EE, who hit just .100 against the Astros.

All-in-all, the slugger has 17 plate appearances spanning two postseasons, and all he has to show for it is one hit and seven strikeouts.

What kind of market will materialize, if any, for a player who’s primarily playing DH? It’s hard to say considering Encarnacion’s age and price tag.

Dealing him offers more versatility for Yandy Diaz, who appears set to play third base and nothing else.  Diaz did play some first this past season.

With that said, EE’s production during the regular season can’t be ignored. The Indians are still going to have to score runs, and he’s one of the big reasons they’re able to do so.

Ultimately Encarnacion will probably stay in the Indians’ lineup for next season because it’s going to be hard to move his contract, considering his position (DH).

Plus, the Tribe isn’t in a position to just give hitters a way, unless they get something decent in return.

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Moving him would just create more offensive questions? Who would DH? The Tribe has enough questions offensively as it is, with their outfield in state of uncertainty.

 

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