Should the Cleveland Indians Sign Edwin Encarnacion?

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Oct 14, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) hits a double against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning in game one of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) hits a double against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning in game one of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) runs home to score a run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) runs home to score a run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Age

Edwin Encarnacion will turn 34 before the 2017 season. Although still productive, Encarnacion is past his prime. Many consider a player’s prime years to be his age 27 to 30 seasons. Not every player puts up their best numbers during this time period, but many do. After age 30, most players start to experience a decline in their production and overall athletic ability.

Edwin Encarnacion is at the age where he could start to decline fast. Although there is no indication yet that this would be the case, it certainly can happen. Indians fans have watched it happen firsthand. I don’t think anyone thought Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher would decline as fast as they did. I don’t think many fans thought Bourn would be a 40 stolen bases type of player or that Swisher would hit 30 HRs, but nobody expected them to pan out as poorly as they did.

Both Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher were younger than Encarnacion when they signed their deals with Cleveland, so Encarnacion’s age is something that has to be considered. It is likely why no one other than Toronto seems to want to offer him a four-year deal.

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