If the Cleveland Indians stay healthy in 2017 there's a good chance they run away with the American League Central – and maybe the entire American League.
The reigning AL champs are expected to formally introduce Edwin Encarnacion as their newest player on Thursday, according to MLB.com. He's getting a three-year, $60 million deal.
The 34-year-old first baseman/DH is a beast at the plate. He hit .263 with 42 home runs, 34 doubles, 87 walks, 99 runs and 127 RBIs last season for the Blue Jays. No player has posted better at-bat-per-home-run numbers than Encarnacion since 2012, lifting one over the fence once every 13.9 at-bats.
Cleveland's lineup is now the deadliest its been since they rolled out the likes of Kenny Loften, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Omar Vizquel and pre-prime future Hall of Famers Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome in the mid-90s. And the 2017 Cleveland pitching staff is far superior to the 1995 Indians club that lost to the Braves in the World Series.
At the end of the day, this means the Indians, who play the Twins 19 times, now have one of baseball's premier power hitters while Minnesota might not have its best power hitter – Brian Dozier – when 2017 begins.
Here's the latest on the Dozier trade rumors.