One of the last significant free agents standing will have a new home before Christmas:



This is a great deal for the Indians, given the early offseason projections that had Edwin Encarnacion landing upwards of $80 to $100 million (he actually received a four-year, $80 million extension offer from the Blue Jays, but decided to wait).

It’s also a great deal for baseball, as the AL Champion Indians are not going to sit on the extra cash they made, and will instead push aggressively to continue their competitive window by nabbing a guy who fits a clear need. I like it a lot.



I also like that Encarnacion stays in the AL, given the impact he still figures to have in the next few years. He turns 34 next month, but Encarnacion posted a  .263/.357/.529 slash line last year, including his fifth straight season with a wRC+ over 130. Dude rakes.

As a qualified free agent, Encarnacion costs the Indians their first rounder, which means the Cubs’ first rounder bumps up to 27th overall. The Cubs’ compensatory pick for losing Dexter Fowler, however, falls to 31st overall, as the Blue Jays will now pick up a comp pick just ahead of the Cubs. Still, higher picks are disproportionately valuable, so you’d happy trade the higher pick moving up a spot for the lower pick dropping a spot. Hey, Brett, way to count. The Cubs’ comp pick stays at 30, because that Indians pick at 25 just disappears. So the Cubs’ comp pick doesn’t move up, but it also doesn’t move down.

It’s going to be really fun to see how the Cubs work with those two picks.






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