It has been yet another exciting offseason for Edwin Encarnacion.
After signing a big free-agent deal with the Indians during the 2016 offseason, the 34-year-old slugger spent his Thanksgiving weekend getting married to Karen Yapoort in the Dominican Republic.
The lavish wedding, heavily documented on Instagram, featured some of Encarnacion’s Indians teammates including Carlos Santana, Roberto Perez and Francisco Lindor, as well as other MLB greats like Albert Pujols and David Ortiz.
Santana, who is currently a free agent, appeared to be the unofficial wedding photographer, snapping photos of the groom and other scenes from the wedding.
Many who attended described the ceremony as the “Wedding of the Year” in the Dominican Republic.
1. I’d love to see the Tribe re-sign Jay Bruce. OK, that’s my dream. The reality is whenever a significant Indians player reaches free agency, he’s gone. The Tribe works hard to sign players to long-term deals before the free agent season.
2. Part of the reason the Indians were able to obtain Bruce from the New York Mets in the middle of August was him being only a few months from free agency. The Tribe picked up $3.5 million on Bruce’s contract.
3. The Indians traded 22-year-old pitcher Ryder Ryan to the Mets for Bruce. He is a marginal prospect. He had a 3-4 record with a 4.14 ERA in Class A last season. Bruce was a rental for the Tribe.
4. I’ve heard some fans mention free agent Eric Hosmer as a possibility for the Tribe. Won’t happen. Here’s why: Scott Boras. He is the agent who squeezes out every last penny in a contract. Same is true for free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, also a Boras client.
5. Another free agent is Mark Reynolds. Yes, that Mark Reynolds who played 99 games with the Tribe in 2013, Reynolds had an excellent year with the Colorado Rockies, batting .267 (.839 OPS) with 30 HR and 97 RBI.
6. In many ways, Reynolds was aided by the light air in Denver. He played the last two seasons with the Rockies. He hit 29 HR at home, 15 on the road. He is a real question mark.
7. When it comes to Colorado, the Rockies gave Bryan Shaw a three-year, $27 million deal. Coors Field is a nightmare for most pitchers. It will be interesting to watch how the former Tribe reliever does in that park.
8. In his career, Shaw has pitched 7 1/3 innings in Coors Field, allowing only one unearned run.
9. The Indians could use a first baseman to replace Santana. They can play Edwin Encarnacion at that spot some of the time. He played 23 games at first and was respectable last season.
10. Other possibilities are Michael Brantley (played some first in the minors) and Lonnie Chisenhall.
11. I’ve heard Jason Kipnis mentioned as a possibility at first. It’s more likely he’ll play left field — unless he goes back to his natural second base position.
12. The Tribe really needs outfielders. They have Bradley Zimmer in center. They can use Kipnis or Brantley in left field. Right field includes Brandon Guyer (coming off wrist surgery), Tyler Naquin and Chisenhall.
13. The Indians know they have to sign and/or trade for a hitter. I wonder if they’d like Melky Cabrera. The free agent outfielder batted .285 (.746 OPS) with 17 HR and 85 RBI last season with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. At 33, he could be a good bet on a one- or two-year contract.
14. Austin Jackson could be a possibility. He played well for the Tribe last season, in-between two trips to the disabled list. But he’s a part-time outfielder.
15. Howie Kendrick is a free agent. I’ve always kind of liked him. He’s 34. He was once an infielder, but is more suited for the outfield. He batted .315 (.843 OPS) with 7 HR and 40 RBI in 91 games last season. He would be an Austin Jackson-type signing.
16. The Indians signed Melvin Upton Jr. to a $1.5 million deal (not guaranteed). He batted .238 with 20 HR and 61 RBI in 149 games in 2016. He missed virtually all of last season with a shoulder problem and thumb surgery. He played only 12 games in Class AAA.
17. The best route for the Tribe to obtain an impact hitter is a trade. That’s what I expect to happen at some point in the winter.