Cleveland Indians: The odd feeling of the big contract

The Cleveland Indians rarely hand out major contracts, so the one signed by Edwin Encarnacion is one that will take getting used to.

After weeks of waiting, it’s finally official.

The Cleveland Indians introduced Edwin Encarnacion as a member of the team Thursday, marking the beginning of what will hopefully be a happy union.

The three-year, $60 million deal, with an option for a fourth year, is the largest in team history, and may come as a surprise to some Indians fans. After so many years of calling ownership cheap, it is clear that things have changed and the Indians are no longer looking for the cheapest route to success.

Unlike fans of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, or Los Angeles Dodgers, Indians fans will be dealing with a whole new situation. Encarnacion’s contract is not as big as some handed out by the big market teams, but it is a massive deal in a market like Cleveland.

A deal like this will give fans great expectations, as anything less than a World Series title in 2017 will leave many disappointed.

The addition of Encarnacion does indeed make the Indians favorites to once again win the American League pennant, but having a $20 man is not something that assures dominance. Fans must remember that even some of the highest paid players struggle during the season, so it is best not to overreact to any major highs or lows during the year.

Any slump had by Encarnacion is going to cause some fans to freak out and demand to know why the team spent so much money on him, but that is just wasted energy. This is especially true if he is in a rut to start the season, as 162 games allows for improvement to be had over the course of the season.

But since Indians fans don’t often deal with signing major free agents to major deals, this will take some getting used to. Investing so much in one player and having him perform poorly is bad if the performance is over the course of an entire year, but month-to-month reactions should be held in check. That is, unless things start bad and never get better, but let’s stay optimistic for now.

This article originally appeared on