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Hello, Cleveland: Indians welcome slugger Encarnacion

By TOM WITHERSJanuary 5, 2017
Cleveland Indians' Edwin Encarnacion smiles wearing a Cleveland Indians baseball jersey, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Cleveland. One win from a World Series title last season, the Indians finalized a $65 million, three-year contract with free agent slugger Encarnacion. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians' Edwin Encarnacion smiles wearing a Cleveland Indians baseball jersey, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Cleveland. One win from a World Series title last season, the Indians finalized a $65 million, three-year contract with free agent slugger Encarnacion. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion has a new home in the heart of Cleveland’s lineup.

The Indians made their signing of the coveted free agent official on Thursday, introducing the slugger, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract that will include some attendance bonuses. The deal also includes a $5 million buyout and $25 million club option for 2020.

Encarnacion averaged 39 homers over the past five seasons with Toronto. He will make a major impact with the AL champions, who outmaneuvered several big-market clubs to sign one of baseball’s most feared and consistently productive hitters.

Team president Chris Antonetti credited owner Paul Dolan’s “leap of faith” in making the financial commitment to sign Encarnacion to the richest deal in team history. He called Encarnacion a “perfect fit” for the Indians, who got to the World Series before losing in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.

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